“Hands off my Bacoin.” That’s the message a 27-year-old IT worker has for Oscar Mayer.
When Oscar Mayer launched what it called “the only leading authority to help lead bacon into the future of tomorrow – by creating a currency today,” they failed to recognize that Kirk Steele had created a cryptocurrency in 2014 called Bacoin designed to be redeemed for strips of bacon, just like how Oscar Mayer’s Bacoin is supposed to work.
An Oscar Mayer YouTube video gives credit for Bacon’s creation to a “Keith Sizzle.”
Whether or not Steele has a case against the food giant remains to be seen.
On Monday, Steele sent a message to HelloWorld, the Bacoin promotion administrator, asking Oscar Mayer to remove mentions of Bacoin since it is an unauthorized use of his copyrighted work.
“Your work entitled Oscar Mayer Bacoin is essentially identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis,” Steele noted in his April 30 letter. He demanded the company cease and desist its activity. If action does not get taken in five days of the letter, he said he will take appropriate legal action.
“My work has been publicly available since 2014 and this is a direct infringement on my idea’s and their implementation,” Steele tweeted.
Steele told Motherboard that he was especially unnerved by the fact that Oscar Mayer’s promotion is intended as a gag. The press release calls the cryptocurrency the company’s latest disruptive innovation, following past campaigns including Sizzl, the dating app for bacon lovers, and Wake Up & Smell the Bacon, an Oscar Mayer bacon-scented alarm clock.
Steele said his idea was for Bacoin was to get a local Michigan meat company some attention, but the Oscar Mayer promotion strikes him as something fake. He doesn’t believe there will be any type of blockchain behind the Oscar Mayer cryptocurrency.
HelloWorld and Kraft Heinz, which owns Oscar Mayer, did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment on the matter.
Whether or not Oscar Mayer’s Bacoin is a really fake could be a matter of debate, however.
The Bacoin website says the company is releasing a limited number of Bacoins redeemable for packs of Oscar Mayer bacon. At the time of this report, one BCN was equal to seven slices of Oscar Mayer bacon.
According to the official rules, a Bacoin holder can share on Twitter and/or email via the website to help increase the value of the BCN. The value of the Bacoin is tied to overall sharing; the more people who share via the website, the higher the value of the so-called cryptocurrency. If overall sharing is slow, the “BCN price” will decrease.
Oscar Mayer isn’t likely to lose much sleep over Steele’s complaint. He admitted to Motherboard that if the company gives him a free year’s worth of bacon, he’ll probably drop the complaint, since he can’t afford a lawyer to “go all the way with it.”
In fact, if the complaint goes any farther, it could generate more consumer interest in Bacoin.
Featured Image from YouTube.