Despite cryptocurrency’s shaky start to the new year, the Bitcoin craze is still going strong in the stock market, with Hooters Restaurants’ investor Chanticleer announcing plans to offer customers digital currency in return for eating at their restaurants.
It joins a handful of other small-cap stocks that have pushed up their stock price by announcing a link with Bitcoin or blockchain in the past year. After the news was announced, investors deemed Chanticleer 50% more valuable, giving the company with nine Hooters locations a market value of nearly $12 million.
“Eating a burger is now a way to mine for cryptocoins! Every meal enjoyed at any Chanticleer Holdings brand will accrue currency for the consumer that can be used for future meals or traded with other consumers,” said Dennis Becke, CEO of marketing platform Mobivity Holdings in a statement Tuesday. Chanticleer is using Mobivity’s blockchain-operated platform to create the cryptocurrency-based loyalty program.
The cryptocurrency, dubbed Merit, will be valid at any of Chanticleer’s brands.
“Mobivity Merit is real cryptocurrency, leveraging the same infrastructure and principles of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and more,” said Michael D. Pruitt, CEO of Chanticleer, in a statement.
The surge of Chanticleer’s stock thanks to blockchain is no new phenomenon. With the rise of Bitcoin’s price in 2017, investors have become hungry for just about anything blockchain related. And some companies appear to have taken notice. A biotech firm that changed its name to Riot Blockchain in October rallied as a result of the switch. In December, Long Island Iced Tea changed its name to Long Blockchain—sending its stock price up six fold. Another Hong Kong-based Company known as UBI BlockChain soared in 2017, though the company appeared to have no revenue and a questionable history.
As of Tuesday, Bitcoin’s price stands at $14,900, up roughly 11%.