Ryan Alberts had a tough time standing out in the beef jerky world until March 24, 2018, when he added crypto purchasing at checkout.
“Crypto has always been really cool and an interesting topic for all of us at TONG! Jerky. We’ve been investing in and out of various alts and bitcoin for a few years and that’s pretty much what lead us to think we definitely need to implement a Crypto based checkout,” the TONG! Cofounder told Modern Consensus by email.
His TONG! Jerky is certainly the alt-coin of the jerky world. Far from the average Slim Jim, his meat snack is based on “biltong,” a traditional South African cured meat snack similar to beef jerky. In 2016, Alberts combined the best features of biltong with traditional American beef jerky to make an alternative that U.S. consumers would find familiar.
“I think it has the perfect balance between being tender and moist,” he said. “The jerky is bold with flavor and will leave you satisfied and not bloody your mouth up like wood chips.”
“We’re throwing in an extra bag for all crypto purchases,” Alberts said to users of r/litecoin on Reddit. That will go a long way as a 2.5 oz. bag of jerky goes for $6.99 on the site, plus $4.99 for standard shipping in the U.S. That’s $11.98 for 2.5 oz. of steak jerky, but it could cost you just half that depending on when you bought your crypto.
“We ended up choosing Coinbase because the company’s name is recognizable and Coinbase offered not just Bitcoin but also Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. We also thought people would want to have ease of mind when checking out.” Alberts also noted Coinbase’s security reputation and ease of use.
People already familiar with the platform won’t have to sign up for another exchange just to get a bag of jerky. And that is a lot of users considering that back in December Coinbase reached the number one spot on Apple’s U.S. App store.
“We’ve only had Coinbase as a checkout for a week so we haven’t been able to fully gauge the pro’s and con’s… But so far it’s proved to be a convenient alternative payment for those who don’t want pay with or may not have access to a credit card.”
Just as adding blockchain to your company can send the value skyrocketing, so can adding crypto purchasing power. We had never heard of “bitlong” last week, and you won’t find us posting on any beef jerky forums. But at least now their jerky startup is on the radar of hundreds of people in the litecoin community.
While others people in the alt-jerky community (seriously, it exists) might be happy making a couple sales at the local farmers market, Alberts has positioned himself on the global market by accepting a global currency.
This is good news for crypto users too. A HODLer who made huge gains in the crypto world would have to pay capital gains taxes if they wanted to skip the lambo and buy a condo. But now they can at least get some jerky.
“Hopefully we can be an influence to other small businesses to adopt crypto as a means of payment, and in the near future paying with crypto will be as normal as paying with Paypal,” said Alberts.
With shipping, the bag works out to 0.0017941 bitcoins. I’m writing that number down in case this bag of jerky I just ordered becomes another $100 million bitcoin pizza.