Crypto Wins Money 20/20 Payments Race 2nd Year in a Row
For the second year in a row, Team Crypto has won the Money 20/20 Payments Race. This year, five contestants raced from New York City to Las Vegas, pitting cards, cash, cryptocurrency, checks, and devices against each other to see which payment method was the best.
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Crypto Wins the Race From New York to Vegas
The rules were simple: racers had to make it from New York City to Las Vegas using only their assigned payment method. Along the way, racers completed tasks specific to their payment method in order to earn points. The winner was picked based on points tallied and which racer arrived at the Money 20/20 conference first.
Max Meilleur represented Team Crypto this year, using bitcoin and the Wirex cryptocurrency wallet. After the race ended and the points were tallied, Meilleur came out on top, followed closely by device-based payments — represented by Megan Hayes.
The final standings of the race are as follows:
- 5th Place: Renee Howard, checks
- 4th Place: Brittany Cooper, card
- 3rd Place: Dennis Trufin, cash
- 2nd Place: Megan Hayes, devices
- 1st Place: Max Meilleur, crypto
Biggest Challenges of the Race
At Money 20/20, each competitor shared the biggest challenges they faced during the race.
Cooper, representing cards, said her biggest challenge was booking hotels and securing transportation. Since racers could not pre-book hotels and flights, and could not make payments online, Cooper found her chip-and-pin card to be less effective than she anticipated. Booking hotels and flights on the spot often exceeded her budget, and she couldn’t even order an Uber to get from point A to point B.
Trufin and Hayes — representing cash and devices — also found difficulty getting hotels and transportation. Hayes, using Apple Pay with an Apple Watch and NFC-enabled ring, said she had a hard time even getting out of New York, because the car rental agency wouldn’t accept Apple Pay.
As for Meilleur, traveling with bitcoin was “terrible at first, but awesome at the end.” And why was that?
The Payments Race Is All About the People
According to Meilleur, discovering the generous and tight-knit crypto community made this race an amazing experience.
Like Hayes, Meilleur had trouble getting out of New York, because the metro didn’t accept bitcoin. However, using a pizza box sign and a little bit of courage, Meilleur found a bitcoin enthusiast willing to purchase a train ticket with USD in exchange for some bitcoin.
That interaction kickstarted an entire journey of community-driven success for Meilleur, who received help from the bitcoin community throughout his entire journey. He got a look at who actually uses crypto too — saying he connected with a vast and diverse group of people.
At an airport, Meilleur said, he even helped an “old lady” set up a bitcoin wallet just so he could pay her to buy him a plane ticket.
And that kind of community spirit is what clinched the victory, Meilleur said. Around every corner, a bitcoin enthusiast was there to help. According to Meilleur, crypto is “all about community,” which makes it “clearly at the heart of the money revolution.”
Besides crypto, community played a large roll in each competitor’s journey, each one saying they couldn’t have made it all the way to Vegas without help from people along the way. Hayes said she wouldn’t have made it out of New York without the help of a kind stranger, who actually put a $700 USD charge on their card for Hayes’ rental car — which she repaid through Venmo.
The importance of community seems to be what makes any economy work — regardless of the money or payment methods used. And since crypto apparently has the strongest community of all, maybe this wild experiment can actually work, and improve the global economy while bringing everyone closer together.
What do you think about the outcome of the 2018 Money 20/20 payments race? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Jon Southurst