Munchcoin seeks to change how people purchase food and they’re taking a leaf from Bitcoin in achieving their goals.
A team of students from Manhattan College headed by Stephen Serulle and Hunter Brea have created a cryptocurrency called MunchCoin. The goal of this crypto is for it to be reachable to the common man and they want it to be used in everyday living.
It was planned to give eateries restaurants and a reasonable advantage over large corporations. It is as easy as spending cash on the food students in college eat, uploading a picture of the receipt, and putting their rewards into their virtual wallets.
Some people feel this coin could be the first to fully compete with Bitcoin which traded at the sum of $20,000 for 1 BTC some years back.
“I mean, hopefully in the future we get to that point,” Serulle said, “but I think that’s a little ways out.”
“That’ll be when we’re on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,” said Brea with a smile.
Brea was the first person to say something about creating a cryptocurrency of their own 2 years ago.
“Me and my dad were driving around and we started talking about (cryptocurrency) because he’s an entrepreneur and got really interested in it, too,” the senior from Manhattan College said. “I figured I could make my own with a little knowledge of coding, so we just started throwing names and ideas out there. We love food, so we came up with ‘MunchCoin.’
She further went on to say:
“My dad didn’t think anything of it, but I kind of brought that idea home with me and started messing around with it.”
“People use credit cards, right? When you swipe your credit cards, physical money isn’t going from your bank to someone else,” Brea said. “It’s literally just digits. Everything is digitized now, so using a credit card is just moving some numbers around. It’s the same difference with crypto.”
The beauty of MunchCoin is that it’s not just another coin on the Blockchain system, it was made with necessary adaptations that can be used daily by people. In the meantime, there are about 9 businesses in Yonkers and Riverdale that are on the Munchcoin program. There are currently about 4,000 people who own Munchcoin and if any of them get to spend it at any of these stores, they stand a chance of getting loyalty rewards.
For users to earn MunchCoins, they have to visit one of the eateries that is under the program. The amount they spend on food at this place will make them earn some MunchCoins. Presently, the exchange rate of a MunchCoin to a dollar is about 200:1. This rate is set to change when people start hodling the tokens.
“The food industry in New York is super saturated. You have so many options,” Serulle said. “By being one of the only vendors that give out MunchCoins, they’re getting involved in this cryptocurrency community that has never been seen in the food industry, and that gives them an incentive.”
For users to redeem their rewards, they have to take a picture of the receipt given to them using their phone’s camera and the image is submitted via the Munchcoin app, the team would then review it.
“So as long as you’re buying sandwiches, chips or whatever, you’re getting rewards,” Brea added.
“And then you get a certain amount of MunchCoin in return delivered into your cryptocurrency wallet, depending on how much you spent on that transaction,” Serulle said.
Together with marketing director Stephen Serulle, Brea’s team of Mike Fulton, Elvis Rodriguez, Greg Urena and Christopher Dubois, they’ve vigorously campaigned to make MunchCoin a pillar among the people on campus by working with independent eateries nearby.
For users to know that the coin is acceptable in a particular eatery, they have to look out for the logo on the window of the store. If this is present, the user knows they can get rewards purchasing things at places like New Riverdale Gourmet Deli or Jasper’s Deli both on West 238th Street. These places are not too far from Manhattan College.
Currently the major problem Serulle and Brea are facing is to make their token spendable. According to them, they are working round the clock to find a way to make this possible.
“Currently we’re trying to work with food festivals, food truck events, eat-offs and maybe exchanging MunchCoin at certain venues,” Brea said. “But that is the best way to do it so far.”
The team intends to work with dealers to provide food centered rewards that can be traded for MunchCoins rather than for it to be used as a currency that can be expended on the customer’s choice of goods or services. Food festivals are extremely popular, and the team believes that they have what it takes to partner with some of them around the town this summer. To entice them, they intend to give them free admission in exchange for some MunchCoins.
The team is concentrating on increasing MunchCoin’s reach beyond their immediate environment and they want to get more restaurants on board. Presently, the program is meant for privately owned restaurants, who may not have the wherewithal to challenge huge corporations.
“Online companies like Amazon and even Walmart are siphoning small businesses of everything they have at this point,” Brea said. “We’ve seen a lot of businesses in this area close in the four years since I’ve been here. To me, it’s sad. I like that fact that we’re supporting local business. I like the feeling you get when you walk into a small store and you spend money there instead of giving it to a huge corporation that’s not going to care about you in the long run.”
And while MunchCoin is not earning the team thousands of dollar bills right now, Serulle and his team feel satisfied for creating a new use case via cryptocurrency.
“Just the fact that we’re doing something innovative, that could change the way that people can buy certain type of goods, I feel that … it’s a personal goal of mine to inspire the next project,” Serulle said. “Where we’re doing food, someone else might do shoes or clothing, buying phones.
“It’s inspiring the next wave of people who are going to use cryptocurrency.”