Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT – what are they connected with?

Many people have vague ideas about cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethenerum or Dodgecoin – in simple terms, they can be called virtual money, which stores information about the status of ownership in the contract units. Today, almost no one uses them for the function of payment, or rather treats them as a financial instrument. However, the first real use of Bitcoin was in food, especially pizza. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecza bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC from Pope John’s chain, which was about $ 25 at the time. Now this pizza would cost more than $ 430 million. To this day, it is celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day, which is celebrated by cryptocurrency lovers by eating pizza.

Years after this historic event, more and more brands have begun to use risky practices, such as accepting cryptocurrency payments that can dramatically increase or decrease their value in a short period of time. In September 2021, McDonald’s began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in all El Salvador restaurants. Over time, Pizza Hut and Starbucks, as well as other restaurant chains, joined him. All this is due to changes in the law, so El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept this cryptocurrency as an official tender.

The move was also taken by the more daring food brands available in the direct consumer model, which has begun accepting online payments in cryptocurrencies. One of the most famous examples is the ice cream brand Brave Robot, created using the technology of the Perfect Sun. The startup uses mushroom fermentation to produce milk protein that is “molecularly the same” as cow’s milk. The result is milk, ice cream and other dairy products without the presence of animals.

Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies are based on a blockchain, ie a distributed and decentralized method of storing fixed data. However, the use of this technology is wider than the storage of information about transactions in the cryptocurrency market. Consumers are increasingly paying attention to the origin of the products they eat. Blockchain can provide greater transparency in deliveries, make product identification easier, and reduce costs and risks throughout the chain. Using blockchain to track the origins of food is something that market leaders and startups have been working on for years.

Technology giant IBM offers artificial intelligence and blockchain-based solutions to track and manage supply chains. In turn, the Boston startup LegitFish, which has been developing since 2018, has focused on the fish and seafood industry, which is the subject of much controversy. Thanks to the QR codes on the packaging of fish products, the customer can carefully check the information on each of them. The system tracks the catch from the ship to the processor and the store shelf.

NFT

NFT is a “fashionable token”, an abbreviation for a token that cannot be changed. NFT tokens are actually a digital confirmation of the authenticity of a given virtual element using a unique, unchanging sequence of characters in blockchain technology. It confirms that the digital object is mine, unique, incomparable, limited, irreplaceable.

Tokens are traded and invested, but they have a collector value, not a medium of exchange. Some symbolize digital works of art that are still problematic with the concept of originality and image, others symbolize body parts, and still others symbolize lovers. Introduction to the world of NFT was announced by Maspex’s Tiger brand, which recently joined the Fancy Bears Metaverse club. There have been many examples in the West of the use of NFT in FMCG marketing for a long time.

Campbellin

Canned soup from the American food giant Campbell Soup Company has already inspired artists, the most famous example of which is Andy Warhold. This time, the brand decided to celebrate the renewal of last year’s packaging design, using the NFT collection. “AmeriCANa – SOPHIA CHANG x CAMPBELL! S” is a series of 100 works of NFT art with Campbell products, starring street artist and illustrator Sophia Chang. Campbell donated all proceeds from the campaign to Feeding America, a long-term partner of the company that fights hunger.

Pringles

The Pringles brand also joined the NFT madness, leaving a virtual taste of the symbolic chips in the form of NFT. As the producer wrote: “Can you try them? No. Can you enjoy them? Yes.” CryptoCrisp is a virtual delight presented as a work of digital art created by Ukrainian artist Vasya Kolotusha. There are still 5 files for auction from the collection of 50 MP4 files representing the animated, rotating, golden Pringles box on the subject of cryptocurrency. The starting price is 4.95 ETH, ie more than 60,000 PLN.

Budweiser

Another brand that decided to tokenize its products was Budweiser. He created a limited collection of 1936 virtual packaging. This figure is not accidental, because the first original Budweiser boxes were made in 1936. The motifs in the graphics refer to the development of the brand and its historical past. This time it was not just about graphics, but each NFT Budverse, as a VIP ticket to the virtual world of the brand, where the owner has exclusive attractions, surprises and gifts.

McDonald’s

Without McDonald’s, which has already flirted with NFT several times, the share of these global brands would not be complete. For example, in October last year, the fast food giant released a ribbed sandwich in the form of NFT, which is no longer on sale. McDonald’s has unveiled a digital version of the famous McRib sandwich to mark the 40th anniversary of its appearance. Maybe that’s not what his fans wanted him to do, but as McDonald’s said: “With McRib NFT, you’ll never have to say goodbye to your favorite sandwich again.”

Non-mushroom (ble) -token

Virtually all examples from the world of food giants relate to tokenization of brand-related charts. What about physical products? Recently, a French truffle grower preferred tokenization. Bernard Planche used the NFT auction to sell a giant black truffle weighing 1,265 kg, three times the standard size. Does it make sense to tokenize when you can auction just one mushroom instead of NFT? Planche, which has been growing almonds for more than 30 years, believes that putting almonds in a blockchain proves its origin, quality and originality, and at the same time is a good way to use new technologies to support a long tradition. The winner will receive a copy of the giant truffle, NFT, which confirms its origin, as well as a certificate of physical authenticity.

The world of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and NFT is developing very dynamically, and in the coming months more and more food companies will start flirting with this technology. The largest market players use this trend to create exclusive communities around brands and to support loyalty programs based on a well-known mechanism of creating needs and providing them with very limited resources. With NFT, it’s like any other commodity on the counter – when it’s not enough, it goes up very quickly. If we live in a mirror world, the importance and value of these virtual collections can increase rapidly. Returning to the relationship with food, the question arises: will this virtual technology feed us? No, but it can stimulate your appetite and give you real benefits.

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