Using cryptocurrencies to purchase familiar and unfamiliar foods

Carlos Velasco, Francisco Barbosa Escobar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


Cryptocurrencies and food have been entangled since the beginning. Not long after Bitcoin’s (BTC) inception, Laszlo Hanyecz had purchased two Domino’s pizzas from Jeremy Sturdivant for BTC 10,000 or USD 41 at the time (Arslanian & Fischer, 2019). This (in)famous case is now well known, considering that, at present, one BTC is about USD 40,000. Over and above this interesting case, cryptocurrencies are relatively new and have only started to be adopted in retail purchases relatively recently (Statista, 2021). This parallels with the increasing interest in adoption of alternative nutrient sources such as insect-based foods (Motoki et al., 2021). With this in mind, we designed a study aimed to assess the extent to which being able to pay for familiar and unfamiliar foods with fiat or crypto currencies would influence people’s purchase intent and expectations of quality, tastiness, and liking.
In Experiment 1 (N = 397), we conducted a 4 (currency: USD, GBP, BTC, ETH) × 3 (food: salad, pizza, mealworm burger) mixed design, with currency as between-subjects factor and food as within-subjects factor. Experiment 2 (N = 359) was similar, but we evaluated cryptocurrencies in general instead of using specific cryptocurrencies and only one fiat currency. Furthermore, we added the 10-item Big Five Inventory questionnaire and a 3-item financial risk tolerance questionnaire from Barclay’s. Participants in both experiments were familiar with both the fiat and crypto currencies used.
The results of both experiments were similar and only revealed significant main effects of food on the dependent variables, with no effect of personality or financial risk tolerance, on the dependent variables. Overall, and as one would expect, participants had a higher purchase intent toward the pizza, followed by the salad, and lastly the burger. We discuss the results considering research on currency types and their role in food purchases.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateSept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
EventEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
: European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research
- Logomo Convention Centre, Turku, Finland
Duration: 13 Sept 202216 Sept 2022
Conference number: 10


ConferenceEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
LocationLogomo Convention Centre
Internet address


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