With her victory for Bitcoin still fresh in mind from Las Vegas last October, Money20/20 Payments Racer Amélie Arras is confident she can do it all again in Asia. Speaking to Bitsonline, Arras said the pressure’s higher this time — thanks to more challenging locations and the fact she’s defending Bitcoin’s title, rather than competing as a plucky outsider.
That said, Arras’ win for Bitcoin in Vegas (which left the established payment network reps at Money20/20 visibly surprised) also means more attention and thus, more support. Last time she noted Bitcoin’s community is its biggest advantage, so she’s busy making contacts.
She’ll also have three official mentors at her back: Teo Vincent, VP of OCBC Bank, Anson Zeall, CEO of Coinpip, and Leda Glyptis, CIO at QNB Group.
What Is the Payments Race?
This will be the third Money20/20 / Fintech Finance Payments Race, in which a handful of competitors travel across a wide geographic area using only a single payment method.
Launched yesterday, Arras’ campaign to win the race proper starts in Hong Kong on March 10th and finishes at the Money 20/20 Asia conference five days later in Singapore.
Competitors must use their method to pay all expenses, and each has its own unique advantages and drawbacks. For example: cash is accepted everywhere, but it’s useless for pre-booking hotels and transport from a distance. Credit cards of all kinds can leave you stranded in difficult places. Despite a helpful community, Bitcoin has its price volatility and lack of mainstream acceptance.
Bitcoin’s position in Money20/20’s Payments Race improved markedly from the first to second event. Its representative the first time around never made it out of London — but across North America, and with charismatic YouTuber Arras now planning the trip, it triumphed over dollar bills, gold, tap cards, and chip & PIN.
There are several other rules: racers must take several different modes of transport, they must pay for everything directly (no exchanging for another payment method) — and they must be entertaining, with regular video and social media updates.
Interview: Bitcoin Racer Amélie Arras
Jon Southurst: Where are you starting from?
Amélie Arras: I am starting from Hong Kong on 10th March 2018
JS: Have you learned any new “bitcoin tricks” that might help?
AA: Yes! So I have learned about different tools that are used in Asia especially, including Telegram, WeChat, I have also learned that I can easily convert my bitcoin into any other currencies via using different wallets, for example, I can change my bitcoin to ether on my Blockchain Wallet, so that when I meet people who prefer either bitcoin cash, or ether I can still trade with them.
JS: Are you feeling more pressure this time?
AA: Yes I am feeling more pressure, there are more borders to cross, I can only take one plane journey… I need to eat a Durian… And I don’t know the language, I am learning little sentences to survive! The price of Bitcoin has gone down, and although I was lucky as it went up during my race in America, I am not sure it I will have the same luck this time. The pressure is a bit bigger as the crypto community has a crown to defend!
JS: What unique challenges do you think you’ll face this time around?
AA: Volatility, again, will be a challenge, either it will be in favour of my race, or it will be the difficulty this time round. The challenge I will face is also the language and the limitation in transport I can take, one of the challenge is to take as many different transports methods as possible, I will have to think very strategically to ensure I can get there first.
JS: After your win in Vegas, did you have more people offer to help this time?
AA: Yes, this year I have three mentors, who are being very helpful and putting me in touch with communities, that is a big help because, as we know, the community is key to success! This race is fun, informative and great to experiment what future will be like when crypto goes mainstream, I hope the community will join #TeamBitcoin ?
Amélie Arras is sponsored by U.K. exchange Coinfloor. You can follow her progress on YouTube and Twitter.
Can Amélie and Bitcoin win the Payments Race again? Tell us what you think in the comments.
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