In one of a kind global payment race called Money 20/20 EU Payment Race, five contestants were pitted against each other. There was Team Cash, Team Card, Team Crypto, Team Wearables (equipped with a Curve Ring and Apple Watch), and Team Mobile. All 5 teams set out from London in a bid to reach Amsterdam. The participants started out in London and went westwards to reach their final destination at Money 2020 event in the Dutch capital on June 4th.
Alex Hobern who is a social media creator and a TV personality was the part of the Team Crypto. He was quite new to crypto himself and his decision to go the crypto way was more of a self-discovery than global conquest. Having decided to use crypto payments over traditional ones, Hobern was not supposed to use any crypto surrogates either like the crypto debit card or Bitcoin ATMs, and the only way he used crypto was through P2P transactions throughout the journey.
When Hobern was asked about his decision to select crypto over traditional payment methods, he replied,
“In my view, it poses the biggest challenge. With a large and dedicated community, its adoption by merchants is extremely low. Being someone who thrives out of their comfort zone, I decided it was the best way to make the trip an actual challenge.”
Hobern also confessed of being a crypto noob and knew nothing about the crypto use apart from the fact that few of his friends got rich in 2017 for their early investment. Hobern also went through a crash-course program organized by London based crypto payment service provider Wirex to help him in his endeavor.
Crypto Payment Stigma
While cryptocurrencies have carved quite a large following in a decade worth of time, there is still a stigma over using cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, especially for Bitcoin. Many Bitcoin holders are not willing to spend their holdings and only want to use it as a store of value. This behavior can be attributed to the 2017 phenomenal price rise which took the prices of Bitcoin near $20k. While altcoins users of BCH, LTC and DASH are all in for using their crypto as a daily mode of payment.
Hobern being a newbie to the crypto space realized that finding businesses who accept crypto payment is quite difficult. He said that during the course of the race he visited a place called ‘Crypto Cafe' and it did not accept crypto payments.
Alex did quite well and was in the lead for the most part until he arrived in Europe. Alex said it became increasingly difficult to complete the ‘Different modes of transport’ in Europe as there was no public transportation which accepted crypto payments. Instead, Alex resorted to ticking off as many countries as possible to make up for the ‘Different modes of transport’ challenge'.
Crypto Acceptance Round the Globe is On The Rise
Hobern stated that despite the difficulties he faced by his choice of going with crypto payment at certain places, for the most part, people were quite welcoming and also ready to help him use his crypto for making payments.
Hobern also mentioned some of the highlights of his endeavors which include yachting in San Francisco Bay for which he made payment in crypto. He made use of crypto accepting services such as Future Travel and Tripkki. Hobern also got to meet several crypto enthusiasts along the way who helped him in making this global payment race a success and a movement to cherish all his life.
During the course of the global payment race, Hobern managed to spend cryptocurrency in countries like U.K., Ireland, Canada, U.S., Hong Kong, Dubai, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, Belgium, and Amsterdam. He made most of the payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Hobern's participation in the global payment race helped us understand various aspects of crypto use throughout the world. First and foremost crypto is definitely more acceptable than many thinks of, second Hobern's crypto payments race also highlighted the issues of making small payments using Bitcoin core. He said on one occasion the transaction fee using Bitcoin core was much higher than the actual cost of the product.
Crypto Finishes The Global Payment Race First But Falls Short on Points
Despite all the hurdles in Alex's way from London to Amsterdam, he was able to finish the race first but could not win the competition. The global payment race was not just about finishing first but had many tasks in between to complete and gain maximum points. On the basis of points, Team Cash and Team Card were tied for the first spot, the third spot was taken by Team Wearables, Team Crypto came fourth in terms of points and Team mobile finished the race at the bottom.
Alex Hobern thoroughly enjoyed every movement of the global payment race and says he has developed a long lasting love for cryptocurrencies. He even plans to start investing right after the commencement of the race.