Maybe I just don't get it but I found this article unintentionally hilarious.
First, the idea of running a distributed ledger to keep track of burger points. This is the tech equivalent of using a bazooka to address an ant problem.
Second, the idea of money laundering and ransom ware...imagining Colombian drug lords cleaning narco dollars into Russian burger points, and my hard drive ending up infected...you can have your files back in exchange for 100 Whoppers in St. Petersburg.
is this what a block chain bubble looks like?
They aren't running it. They are using the Waves platform, which has very easy 1-click asset creation. Waves is also Proof of Stake, so there's no mining involved.
This gives the transparency benefits and distribution benefits, without any of the overhead.
Regarding distribution, waves platform has a culture of airdrops in it.
I find Waves fun. Between leasing, the decentralized exchanges, the airdrops, the dividends, and finding out about the assets that got airdropped or dividended to you, I find myself in the app quite often unintentionally. The airdropped assets are mostly worthless, but the descriptions of the assets are interesting. I would say the fun aspect is different than other cryptocurrencies. Its like finding random stuff in Skyrim, keeps me coming back.
For reference, I buy Waves and purchase Waves Community Tokens (WCT) on the decentralized exchange. Most airdrops go to WCT holders, they just take a record of the blockchain and send to all address with WCT balances.
I lease my remaining Waves to the pools FountainPerpetua and WavesGo. There are plenty of other pools to lease to.
Pools give payments in the form of Waves, because thats what they earn, but they also have the option of giving payments in other assets too, they just need to remain competitive.
So I typically earn Waves, Waves Community Tokens and Miners Rewards tokens.
The WavesGo pool gives WavesGo tokens which are actual shares and actual securities.
WavesGo pools distributes more of its own earnings to all WavesGo holders. You can buy and sell more WavesGo shares on the decentralized exchange.
Your first point is a little funny, until you remember all those people who also kept saying that BTC isn't the only thing and replacing fiat currency isn't the only goal. I don't see a problem with it, other than being somewhat wasteful.
I don't think this was ever actually a thing, some people just speculated about the possibility.
I've got a decent amount of experience with this, and I'm certain there's never been any large scale money laundering activity using Linden dollars. The idea is simply ridiculous, the economy isn't large enough to support it.
I'm not sure what the definition of "large scale money laundering" is in this situation.
There's also one entirely speculative post (again from a videogame cheating forum) proposing a completely unrealistic, and ridiculously expensive approach to money laundering by buying and reselling videogame money.
The paper seems to have been written by mostly clueless people with little understanding of these communities or money laundering.
Bitcoin mixing is also pretty expensive but people still do it, and prior to bitcoin or bitcoin mixing existing presumably people were using a more expensive alternative.
It's hard to prove a negative, there's simply no evidence at all that anyone has ever used videogame money to launder the proceeds of unrelated crimes.
The idea also sounds fundamentally unlikely as videogame currency markets are pretty small¹ and actually getting the currency sold is a long and risky process.
>I've heard for many years that money laundering is common with online currencies
It is. But when people have purpose built solutions like Liberty Reserve and Perfect Money, nobody chooses to waste their time and money on messing with videogame currencies.
>Bitcoin mixing is also pretty expensive but people still do it, and prior to bitcoin or bitcoin mixing existing presumably people were using a more expensive alternative.
Bitcoin mixing has historically been very cheap, right now it still is below 1% cost if you're mixing more than a couple of coins at a time.
¹even for WoW, I used to sell gold
 "Most Starbucks, Evolution Fresh and Teavana stores in North America including Puerto Rico accept your Starbucks Card. Certain Starbucks-branded locations may not permit you to use the Starbucks Card for payment, including some airport, grocery and bookstore locations, or stores in Guam and others located outside continental North America." https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/onlin...
 "La Starbucks Card activada en Argentina no podrá ser utilizada en tiendas Starbucks ubicadas fuera de Argentina. La Starbucks Card activada fuera de Argentina no será válida en Argentina.", which Google translates as "The Starbucks Card activated in Argentina can not be used in Starbucks stores located outside Argentina. The Starbucks Card activated outside Argentina will not be valid in Argentina." https://starbucksrewards.com.ar/tos/card
That is exactly what happens. Prepaid debit cards and gift cards were and maybe still are both major tools for cross-border money laundering of drug proceeds because they have not been treated with the same scrutiny by customs and border guards as cash. With gift cards, you would buy them in one country, take them to another (typically US), and sell them (on Craigslist, eBay, etc) for $0.98 on the dollar. So it is a very inexpensive and low risk way of international money laundering.
The devs get to put down on their resume "real" block chain experience.
I write this, because, if you look up block chain on indeed, you'll see some insane requirements.
5 years+ "blockchain experience."
Ok, yeah, that's going to be real common. Five years ago most people weren't aware of block chain.
Now, distributed database, "maybe."
I read everything I could find on the platform though and couldn't find anything but marketing speak.
They do link to their github, but that's a bit deeper dive than I have interest for at the moment.
Are Russians really curious enough about blockchains for this to be effective, or did Burger King's marketing team just decide a $10,000 bitcoin proof-of-concept is more effective than spending an equal amount on traditional advertising?
I mean maybe thats marketing speak if you don't understand it.
The cool thing about waves is that its fun, and that you can lease to people that want to be pools and earn fun stuff. The questionable thing is if the leasing has resulted (or will result) in consolidation making it not distributed.
That computer would be the greatest Wonder of the Ancient World, if it could be transported back in time, and powered (solar?) The computational power we all waste each day is almost beyond comprehension.
I read a novel where it was illegal to not spend your spare CPU cycles modelling hurricanes.
BK is a very sophisticated logistics operation - they probably employ some smart techs. This is just them having some fun, and why not?
Maybe, but if it was a "tulip coin" then definitely