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Oscar Mayer launches Bacoin, a cryptocurrency worth bacon

Aaron Aupperlee
| Monday, April 30, 2018, 2:39 p.m.

Bacon fans, there's a cryptocurrency for you.

Oscar Mayer launched Bacoin on Monday, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin but worth bacon.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, one Bacoin was worth 10 strips of bacon, up from three strips at noon.

Matt Riezman, brand manager for Oscar Mayer, called Bacoin the gold standard of bacon.

"Add to that our proven expertise in the bacon-tech space, Bacoin is poised to deliciously revolutionize the cryptocurrency market," Riezman said in a statement.

Oscar Mayer's bacon-tech portfolio includes Sizzl, a dating app for bacon fanatics and a bacon-scented alarm clock.

Bacoins are free, and a limited number are available at OscarMayerBacoin.com . There will be 2,000 Bacoins issued between Monday and May 14, according to the contest's official rules . The Bacoins will be available at randomly selected times on the website. The first people to login at the selected time will win a Bacoin.

I tried to secure a Bacoin around 1:30 p.m. Monday and was out of luck. The site said to try again tomorrow. So I will.

Bacoin increases in value when people post to Facebook or Twitter about it and email friends and family via the website. Oscar Mayer can artificially boost the value of Bacoin if attention is low.

When the value of Bacoin is between one and seven slices, owners can cash out and receive a coupon for a half a pack of bacon. The bounty increases as the value increases. If the value of Bacoin reaches 36 to 42 slices, it can be cashed out for three packs of bacon.

Bacoin is clearly a marketing stunt by Oscar Myer and its parent company, Kraft Heinz, which is co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and Chicago. But other joke cryptocurrencies, launched to poke fun at the hype and hysteria surrounding Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, have caught the eye of investors and taken off.

"Useless Ethereum Token" launched in July and by January was worth $350,000 even though its creators told people not to buy the cryptocurrency.

"You're going to give some random person on the internet money, and they're going to take it and go buy stuff with it. Probably electronics, to be honest. Maybe even a big-screen television," the cryptocurrency's website warns. "Seriously, don't buy these tokens."

Garlicoin was worth about $1 million in February. Dogecoin, launched around a popular dog meme featuring a Shiba Inu , was worth $2 billion this year.

And if bacon isn't your thing, VeganCoin claims to be a "cruelty-free" cryptocurrency.

Bacoin could also be a jab at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway firm is a major investor in Kraft Heinz. Buffett is not a fan of Bitcoin , according to Yahoo! Finance. Cryptocurrencies aren't investments. They are a gamble, Buffett told Yahoo! Finance in April.

"If you buy something like Bitcoin or some cryptocurrency, you don't really have anything that has produced anything. You're just hoping the next guy pays more," Buffett said.

Kraft Heinz's actual stock was down nearly 2 percent on the heels of the launch of Bacoin.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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