FAST-FOOD chain KFC is jumping on board the crypto train, giving customers in Canada the option of paying for their chicken in bitcoin.
For the equivalent of $CA20 in bitcoin — currently 0.0011204 in the virtual currency — customers can purchase the “Bitcoin Bucket”, which includes 10 chicken tenders, waffle fries, a medium side, medium gravy and two dips.
“Sure, we don’t know exactly what bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken,” the company wrote on Twitter.
KFC Canada presents The #Bitcoin Bucket. Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken. https://t.co/2OKuCHk5Hb pic.twitter.com/UwaduB8toi
— KFC Canada (@kfc_canada) January 11, 2018
The limited-time Bitcoin Bucket can only be purchased from the KFC Canada website for home delivery.
“Welcome to 2018, Canada,” the page reads. “Despite the ups and downs of bitcoin, the Colonel’s Original Recipe is as good as always. So, trade your bitcoins for buckets and invest in something finger lickin’ good.”
The tongue-in-cheek rollout was accompanied by a Facebook live video featuring bitcoin prices and bitcoin-themed jokes.
“Still just $20 in regular-people-money,” one message on the ticker read.
Others included “Bitcoin is down. Invest in buckets instead”, “Invest in Original Recipe. Avoid alt-recipes”, “Hodl a bucket of chicken instead”, “It’s the $20 bucket, but more futuristic and a little confusing”, and “Buy the dip. Honey Mustard is a personal favourite.”
Reaction on social media was mixed. “Goin’ to grab a bucket just because of this,” one commenter on Twitter wrote. Another asked, “Why would anyone want to pay $40 for $20 worth of chicken?”
KFC’s payment processor is Bitpay, which last month was forced to temporarily raise its minimum invoice amount to $US100 due to “current bitcoin network conditions”.
Skyrocketing fees and wait times have made the bitcoin network nearly unusable for day-to-day commerce and small transactions in recent months, creating an opening for rival cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum and ripple.
Bitpay later restored the $US5 minimum, but warned “many invoice payments under $US100 may still be uneconomical for bitcoin purchasers due to high bitcoin network fees”.
Microsoft, which also uses Bitpay, earlier this week resumed accepting bitcoin as payment in its online store after “working with our provider to ensure lower bitcoin amounts would be redeemable by customers”.
The following day, a popular bitcoin conference to be held in Miami next week announced it had stopped accepting payments in bitcoin.
“Due to network congestion and manual processing, we have closed ticket payments using cryptocurrencies,” the North American Bitcoin Conference said on its ticketing page. “Hopefully, next year there will be more unity in the community about scaling and global adoption becomes reality.”
On Thursday, an announcement by South Korea’s justice minister that the country was preparing legislation to ban cryptocurrency trading sent shockwaves through the market. A spokesman for the presidential office later issued a clarification.
“Justice Minister Park’s comments related to the shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges is one of the measures prepared by the Ministry of Justice, but it’s not a measure that has been finalised,” the statement said.
At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at $US13,640, down more than 5 per cent on the previous day, while ethereum was down 8 per cent, ripple was up 5 per cent and bitcoin cash was down nearly 8 per cent.