Chipotle courts the gullible with a cryptocurrency game


Our fearless leader, Nilay Patel, sent me an article about Chipotle accepting cryptocurrencies for payment earlier this year. I was thinking about writing something to troll my cryptocurrency-hating and Chipotle-loving publisher, but then Elon Musk got it wrong and I forgot about it.

Chipotle paid $ 25 million to give Norovirus to their customers, so I guess that’s how they recruit new ones

Till now. Chipotle made the mistake of pointing us to their new National Avocado Day game. It’s called buying the dip because guac costs more. The game will engage fans in a stock market simulation to buy the drop at the lowest point and give away a total of $ 200,000 in cryptocurrencies, according to its press release. Chipotle paid $ 25 million to give Norovirus to its customers, so I guess that’s how they recruit new ones.

However, drop buying is a common phrase in the cryptocurrency world and refers to the idea that cryptocurrency price action is cyclical. In this ideology, cryptocurrency values ​​occasionally go through a winter or downturn, and if you then buy cryptocurrencies, it will be cheap relative to the peak of the next cycle. Your mileage may vary depending on that particular investment history.

In general, it is very difficult to time the bottom of the market. Encouraging people to try it, even in the form of a game, is irresponsible at best.

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This isn’t Chipotle’s first crypto success. This would celebrate National Burrito Day, just like National Avocado Day, this holiday is the brainchild of some extremely annoying merchants giving away $ 100,000 in Bitcoin (plus $ 100,000 in free burritos). Chipotle then introduced its own currency in Roblox called Burrito Bucks. If you’ve played the Chipotle Burrito Builder game on Roblox, you can get a free food code at select Chipotle restaurants by redeeming your Burrito Bucks.

And then, of course, there are the Flexa Payments, the thing Nilay emailed me about. To create them, use a Flexa compatible application like SPEDN (not a typo, but a game on Hodl, itself a drunk typo). So I downloaded the app and you know what was wild?

haha that screenshot of the SPEDN app

The argument in favor of cryptocurrency was that it should be an improvement on the existing banking system. I don’t see how reloading a wallet that I can’t withdraw to complete a transaction is an improvement over a credit card. It is significantly worse than cash. And unlike cash or credit, every time you buy something with your Flexa account, its IRS watch. Flexa helps you with your taxes in a minimal way by providing you with a CSV file of your transactions so you can give the IRS the extra money you owe to purchase a cryptocurrency burrito bowl.

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If I funded a Flexa account, where would my cryptocurrency go? Well, according to the terms of service, when you deposit your cryptocurrency in the app, your funds are held and secured with an approved third party deposit. Great! Freddo! No more questions! If you browse the site a bit, you’ll find that the deposits are provided by Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

Fortunately, Monique Soriano, Chipotle’s external spokesperson, let me know that Buy the Dip winners will receive their cryptocurrencies via a Coinbase account. Soriano declined to say how many transactions per day on Chipotle are taking place through Flexa, citing the company’s upcoming second-quarter earnings release. However, she suspects cryptocurrencies are more valuable to Chipotle as a marketing gimmick than as a source of revenue. Flexa’s point is that Chipotle can choose to be paid in dollars no matter what cryptocurrency you are using.

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