Chipotle Mexican Grill ‘Proof of Steak’ Crypto Promotion Sells Out Soon

Ray Al-Malt spent most of his Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, preparing for rain and high-speed winds.

Ray Al-Malt spent most of his Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, preparing for rain and high-speed winds about to be swept by Hurricane Ian. A post on Reddit brought a glimmer of hope.

There, the 31-year-old saw an announcement about a 99.95% discount on Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. The only thing: he has to pay the remaining 0.05% in Ether. Happily, he has an obligation.

Chipotle calls the promotion “Proof of Steak”. The campaign is a nod to Ethereum blockchain completed a software upgrade earlier this month. “Consolidation” moved the cryptocurrency network from a proof-of-work model to a proof-of-stake model, hence the name of the promotion.

The Ethereum Foundation estimates the upgrade will cut the network’s energy usage by 99.95% by replacing the scores of computers known as miners used to validate transactions. The sale, redeemable up to $20, ended Thursday night, after customers exchanged $20,000 for bowls, burritos and tacos. Otherwise, the deal will run through Tuesday, October 4.

The campaign provides a rare use case for digital tokens to be used like any other currency. A variety of companies, including Gucci and Microsoftsaid they would accept cryptocurrencies like pay. Chipotle announced in June that customers can pay with cryptocurrency.

Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer of Chipotle writes: “Our overarching goal is to build and reach the next generation of Chipotle fans in the Web3 community by fostering culture and difference with activities like ‘Proof of Steak’ bring real value to the community.

Chipotle has partnered with Flexa, a digital payments company, for the campaign. According to a Chipotle representative, the Flexa-powered app, SPEDN, allows users to create digital gift cards for payment. As a result, Chipotle employees can scan the offer as a QR code.

That workaround means crew members don’t need to know about the “Proof of Steak” offer to offer the discount. Four out of five managers interviewed in an informal poll at Chipotle restaurants in Manhattan said they were unaware the promotion was going on.

Other customers say they can’t get the discount back. Brandt, CMO of Chipotle, told Bloomberg it received complaints on the first day of the promotion but added that these issues “have been resolved”.


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