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Having A Gas: This Week In Crypto Pop Culture, March 18-22




The dangers of McCrypto, the beginning of FashTech with bitcoin tie guy, and family friendly board game night with Crypto Marble.

It's Friday, March 22, everybody! This week, Denny's tweeted about omelets being solid soup, and then people just kept living their lives as if "America's diner" hadn't just revealed the most horrifying truth imaginable. With all hyperbole aside, let's get started with this week's Having A Gas, ETHNews' roundup of some of the lighter stories you may have missed in crypto and blockchain news.


McDonald's in the Philippines has partnered with blockchain-based customer loyalty program LoyalCoin to bring crypto-rewards and a free burger to its customers. Individuals will need to first download the LoyalCoin wallet app. Once downloaded, users can earn LoyalCoins by purchasing goods from the program's partners, which can then be redeemed for rewards – like a free McDonald's burger – or exchanged for cash, bitcoin, Ether, or XEM.

Now, as anyone who was forced to watch "Super Size Me" as part of a seventh-grade health class in the early 2000s can attest, McDonald's isn't exactly good for you, and this partnership with LoyalCoin seems like it will only add to the dangers of downing a McDonald's burger. If financial market volatility has already been linked to emotional and physical stress among investors, imagine what the volatility of the crypto market can do to an investor when it's paired with a Big Mac and a large Coke. In fact, even Switzerland's government might not be well-adjusted enough to handle the pressures of regulating a McDonald's-infused crypto market.

On the Catwalk

Having debuted on March 18, HBO's documentary, "The Investor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," details Elizabeth Holmes' rise to prominence in Silicon Valley on the back of her startup, Theranos, which touted a revolutionary blood-testing technology that turned out to not be everything it promised. However, despite its engrossing story and the conspiracy surrounding Holmes' voice, the real star of the documentary turned out to be bitcoin – or, at least, a bitcoin tie.

One of Theranos' first investors was venture capitalist Tim Draper, who invested $500,000 into the fraudulent startup, and, more importantly, donned a lovely(?) purple bitcoin tie during his interview for the documentary. While some questioned the VC's understanding of both Theranos and bitcoin, I think Draper's tie choice could be used to spark the one thing the cryptosphere has been missing this whole time: a devoted fashion following.

Think about it. All fringe subcultures have unique takes on fashion. Video games have fashion souls. Japan's club scene has gyaruo. Why can't the cryptosphere have … FashTech? The name isn't important. What is important is imagining how much higher our hopes would really be if cryptocurrency indices were announced while holding a Gucci bag. And imagine if Vitalik Buterin told everyone he has less than $30 million in fiat while rocking a pair of super moon yellow Yeezy 500s.

Pass Go, Collect 200 Tokens

Last, in a press release shared with ETHNews, blockchain gaming platform BitMatrix announced its upcoming online crypto-themed board game, Crypto Marble. In Crypto Marble, players will compete to invest their money in property they believe will help them out-earn their opponents. According to the release, if you win a game of Crypto Marble, "you win cryptocurrency," though no details are provided regarding what exactly players will be rewarded with.

The release specifically notes Crypto Marble is "Monopoly-inspired," which initially raised some red flags. Monopoly, after all, is infamous for the fights it can cause around the game board, and with the added layer of cryptocurrency, it seems like Crypto Marble could create some family- and friendship-ending squabbles.

However, then I got to thinking. If Crypto Marble uses blockchain and cryptocurrency as "key gameplay elements," then maybe there won't be any room for fighting. Unlike Monopoly, there probably isn't a bank to steal from while the banker isn't looking, every transaction is probably documented on an immutable ledger, and instead of haphazardly auctioning off unwanted property, I imagine some government authority will hold a proper, sealed-bid auction.

I guess, in a community where no one really lies, cheats, or steals, it shouldn't be that surprising that cryptocurrency and blockchain tech can also fix our board gaming experience.

That's it for Having A Gas. Join us next week, and remember, [insert clever catchphrase here].

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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