KFC Canada's 'bitcoin bucket' attempts to cash in on cryptocurrency craze

KFC Canada's “bitcoin bucket” sold out an hour after it was made available, the company said. But is this the future, or just a clever promotion?

But buying chicken with bitcoin isn't feasible, expert says

KFC Canada is one of the latest in a wave of companies trying to boost sales by connecting their brand to cryptocurrency. (KFC Canada/Twitter)

For a short time on Friday morning, Canadians were able to buy their fried chicken with cryptocurrency.

KFC Canada's "bitcoin bucket" sold out an hour after it was made available, the company said in a series of posts on Twitter playing up the cryptocurrency theme.

But is this the future, or just a clever promotion?

Ameer Rosic, CEO of Blockgeeks, says actual payments with bitcoin aren't feasible.

"For you to send a couple bucks for coffee, transaction fees are ridiculous. So you can't actually use bitcoin as a commerce payment system."

On Friday, the average bitcoin transaction fee was as high as $35. The bitcoin bucket cost $20. The transaction time is also a problem, with transactions taking anywhere from minutes to hours. And both the fee and the time change depending on the amount of traffic on the bitcoin network.

Purchasing a bucket of chicken with bitcoin also triggers a taxable event that Canada Revenue Agency expects you to keep track of.

Riding the hype train

KFC isn't the first company to use the hype to their advantage. Several companies have jumped on the bandwagon lately, seeing huge gains in their stock price when they do so.

Rosic said there might be another reason behind these types of promotions, though: market research.

"It's a great feedback mechanism for KFC and these other companies," he said. "They're looking for market feedback, too. They're looking for how many people are responding to this, how they're responding to this."

Despite his skepticism about bitcoin being used to buy chicken, he still thinks blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies are in our collective future.

"Will any of these big companies accept crypto in the future? I think that's inevitable."

About the Author

Ashleigh Mattern

Ashleigh Mattern is a web writer and reporter with CBC Saskatoon. Email: ashleigh.mattern@cbc.ca