McDonald's has found itself in the crosshairs of the cryptocurrency market sell-off, and it seems to be lovin' it. The fast-food retailer has become the object of memes circulating in the cryptocurrency community. The fun started in response to the latest bear market in which the bitcoin price has been slashed from a November high of nearly $69,000 to below $38,000 today.
With prices in a rut, bitcoin investors have gotten creative, likening their desperation to fast-food worker jobs. Like many fads in the crypto space, the McDonald's meme has triggered a chain reaction, even getting the attention of the company, which is playing along.
how are you doing people who run crypto twitter accounts
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) January 24, 2022
Most recently, billionaire Elon Musk chimed in, using the meme craze as an opportunity to entice McDonald's to add support for his favorite crypto, Dogecoin. Musk offered to “eat a happy meal on TV if McDonald's accepts Dogecoin.” One from McDonald's rival Burger King is among the thousands of responses, shown below.
only a king knows what da coin do
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) January 25, 2022
All the attention has been good for the Dogecoin price, which is off its highs but is still rallying by over 7% in response. It is good timing for the meme coin, whose price has fallen about 18% so far in 2022. Tesla recently added support for Dogecoin payments for certain merchandise, which has helped sentiment.
Dogecoin fans are hoping for when Tesla will begin supporting payments for its electric vehicles. The more acceptance that Doge receives, the greater the chances of achieving wide-scale adoption. If McDonald's were to expand into Dogecoin payments, it would be a significant validation for the entire cryptocurrency industry — not just the meme coin. Since McDonald's has already jumped onto the NFT bandwagon, crypto payments might not be too farfetched.
i present to u the most important NFT. RT for a chance to win one of ten exclusive #McRibNFT
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) November 1, 2021
In addition, a McDonald's job application has also been turned into an NFT. It is currently for sale on NFT marketplace OpenSea.
Payments are Dogecoin's chief use case. The meme coin was created to mock bitcoin, but it has emerged as a serious contender with faster and cheaper payments than its larger rival. According to Mark Cuban, whose NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, supports bitcoin and Dogecoin payments, fans prefer to pay with Dogecoin and save their bitcoins. The average Dogecoin transaction fee is currently about $0.16 compared to bitcoin's $1.51, according to BitInfoCharts. The average Happy Meal is currently going for anywhere from $2.49-3.29, depending if Musk wants a burger or nuggets.
This isn't the first time that Musk has influenced trading in this meme coin, which is one of only three cryptocurrencies that he holds in his portfolio in addition to bitcoin and Ethereum. Musk worked Dogecoin into his Saturday Night Live appearance last May, though the price went in the opposite direction after the tech entrepreneur called Doge a “hustle.” He has also swayed investors on bitcoin after distancing himself from the flagship cryptocurrency for its carbon footprint, a stigma the industry has since been feverishly trying to repair.
Another character in this McDonald's mini-series is El Salvador President Nayib Bukele. He was a first-mover to make bitcoin legal tender in the Central American country. President Bukele is also helping to improve the cryptocurrency's energy consumption by harnessing hydropower from a volcano for bitcoin mining.
The bitcoin bull posted a picture of himself on Twitter donning the McDonald's uniform. While it is all fun and games, for now, El Salvador is also the target of a downgrade by rating agency Moody's, which reportedly warned that the country's bitcoin exposure makes it more vulnerable to default.
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) January 22, 2022
Ships Passing in the Night
Crypto and McDonald's are no strangers. Two crypto influencers have a history with the fast-food company — bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, the CEO of business software company MicroStrategy, and Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance. McDonald's was the first major client for MicroStrategy, and Saylor hasn't forgotten it.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) January 24, 2022
Like El Salvador, MicroStrategy has been buying the bitcoin dip. The company currently holds over $5 billion of BTC on its balance sheet and has no plans to let up in 2022 despite the bear market. Saylor, who is in crypto for the long haul, has been taking the bitcoin price drop in stride. Meanwhile, Binance chief CZ used to flip burgers at McDonald's, and today the software developer is worth a cool $96 billion, as per the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index.
McDonald's seems destined to raise its crypto profile. However, whether it chooses to go with Musk's favorite (Dogecoin) or Saylor's choice (bitcoin) is a mystery that has yet to be revealed.
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