50 years on, McDonald's and fast-food evolve around Big Mac

Miami Florida. The fast-food restaurant reported today that earnings and sales beat expectations

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In what might be a a dig at the age of cryptocurrency, McDonald's is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac's nationwide debut with MacCoin, "a limited edition global currency" that customers will get for free with the purchase of the signature burger.

The coin, which has no cash value and will essentially function as a coupon, can be redeemed for a free Big Mac beginning on August 3 through the end of 2018.

Globally, more than three million people walk through McDonald's doors each day, so word about the coins should spread organically without the use of traditional marketing, Adam Grachnik, external communications manager for the brand tells strategy.

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The milestone comes as the company reduces its number of USA stores.

Big Mac creator Jim Delligatti, right, poses with a Big Mac birthday cake and Ronald McDonald at his 90th birthday party in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, on August 21, 2008.

More than 14,000 McDonalds restaurants will be taking part in the scheme to bring customers back to the fast-food chain.

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In 1967, Michael James "Jim" Delligatti lobbied the company to let him test the burger at his Pittsburgh-area restaurants. The coins come in five different designs featuring the art, music, and pop culture elements that represent each decade of the Big Mac's life. Locations of the guards will be available on the McDonald's NZ Facebook page. However, Big Mac remains unsold in India due to its beef composition.

But we kind of wish the Golden Arches would let this economic experiment play out by removing the time limit. In 2007, the Big Mac Museum Restaurant was established in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, to honor the juicy burger.

In recent years, other fast food burgers spots like Shake Shack, Five Guys and In-N-Out have risen in popularity.

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After similar results at more stores, the Big Mac was added to the national menu in 1968.

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