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.
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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.
#M2020Race is on! Proud mentor of @AmelieArras and #bitcoin and challenging @soCash_app, @rcfl1967, @stephenbreen, @AnthonyPY_Tan, @VitalikButerin to choose who they think will win – Pass this challenge on! pic.twitter.com/saKlMYABhi
— Anson Zeall 萧逸汉 (@AnsonZeall) February 23, 2018
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 🙂
Can Amélie and Bitcoin win the Payments Race again? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Images via Jon Southurst, Amélie Arras, Money20/20