The crypto market is sluggish, and the “Boring Ape” restaurant that justifies NFT’s name pays back in US dollars
On April 9 this year, Bored & Hungry, the theme restaurant of the well-known NFT project "The Boring Ape", opened in Long Beach, California for 90 days as a pop-up store.
Customers can pay for meals in cryptocurrencies or U.S. dollars, and owning cryptocurrencies or related NFTs can also enjoy benefits such as free meal packages, which is also the biggest gimmick of Bored & Hungry.
▲ Picture from: Twitter @BoredNHngry
But some time ago, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times found that Bored & Hungry only accepts US dollars for payment, a burger is $9.25, and a boring ape-themed soda is $3.50.
Kevin Seo, co-founder of Bored & Hungry, responded, "Due to the system upgrade, the cryptocurrency payment is temporarily closed, and the restaurant can now pay with ETH (Ethereum) and $APE (ApeCoin)."
The co-founder clarified with "systematic reasons", but the previous use of only US dollars was likely related to the downturn in the crypto market.
▲ Picture from: Coinbase
Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is laying off 1,100 employees, or about 18 percent of the total, following the second sharp drop in bitcoin this year, as it weathers the economic turmoil affecting the cryptocurrency market and the tech industry, Vice reported .
Bored & Hungry’s accepted cryptocurrencies, ETH and $APE, are down about 23% and 17%, respectively, from last year’s highs. The entire industry is estimated to be worth less than a third of what it was in early 2022.
From a restaurant business perspective, it's natural to no longer use them as a replacement for dollars.
▲ Picture from: The New Yorker
Bored & Hungry's "Boring Ape" NFT has also experienced a price drop, with the cheapest NFT in the series falling below $100,000 for the first time since last summer. Generally, each of them is worth at least six figures, and the best ones even sell for millions of dollars.
In addition to the bad market, the convenience of paying with cryptocurrencies is also a big problem.
At the beginning of the restaurant’s opening, a staff member pointed out that it is theoretically possible to pay for meals in cryptocurrency, but the process is relatively cumbersome, and customers often ignore this method.
Interestingly, a crypto enthusiast met other crypto investors while waiting for Bored & Hungry to open and bought ether, but still opted to pay in USD for the meal.
▲ Picture from: hypebeast
Going back to the original intention of the Bored & Hungry restaurant, it is actually to prove the practicality of NFT in reality and to eliminate the stigma of "it's just a jpg". However, NFT is not a jpg taken from random screenshots, it is more like a digital property certificate of the original jpg.
Restaurant owner Andy Nguyen said at the opening:
We're building an authentic experience, and that's our gift to the Web3 community, but we're also showing the naysayers, hey, we leveraged IP, we turned it into a business — branding and ecology in the restaurant industry system.
On the one hand, the elements of "Boring Ape" can be seen everywhere in the restaurant. They appear in cups and packaging boxes, and they also turn into standing signs for people to take pictures, like a small exhibition.
▲ Picture from: Bored & Hungry
On the other hand, the marketing of restaurants around NFTs can indeed attract consumption, guide more people to understand cryptocurrencies, and maintain interactions with NFT fans.
And a crypto enthusiast who dined at Bored & Hungry said:
Yes, ethereum is a currency where you can exchange NFTs and other stuff…but in terms of buying food, probably not. People want to keep their Ethereum, they don't want to use it.
From this point of view, reality is reality, virtual is virtual, people don’t want to buy food with cryptocurrencies, and food doesn’t have to be tied to cryptocurrencies. Crypto projects are always associated with speculative bubbles.
▲ Image from: Shutterstock
It is worth mentioning that dozens of NFT and crypto projects have been accused of "rug pulls" (rug pulls) – developers taking investors' money and quickly shutting down projects and running away.
Crypto enthusiast Gregory Brown pointed out: "If I didn't make money from it, I wouldn't believe that you can make $1,000 quickly by putting in $100. Of course, you can also lose everything, and someone will lose. That's the game."
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