The winner of the Money 20/20 Payment Race Amélie Arras has officially started her campaign to prove that bitcoin is a superior payment method. This will be the second time she is doing this in just six months. She recently flew from Heathrow to Hong Kong, which is where the next competition will take place. Among the new challenges that Arras is seeking to overcome is the language barrier.
How The Payments Race Takes Place
Five competitors will race from Hong Kong to the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore just in time for the Money 20/20 Asia conference. Every competitor is given one payment method, which they have to use exclusively to get from one point to the next. Besides bitcoin, competitors will also use methods such as gold bullion and tap-and-pay cards.
Along the way, you will also encounter a list of challenges, which usually involve some sightseeing activity. The competitors are all experienced vloggers, which means there is extra pressure on them to entertain their fans.
According to Arras, one of the major issues that she will face this time is language. English might not be an issue in Central Hong Kong or Singapore. However, in between these two areas, she will have to pass through Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Malaysia. All of these are places where English might be a challenge. Another challenge she might face is lack of knowledge on Bitcoin. While digital currencies have spread in the West and parts of Asia, they have very low penetration in South East Asia.
Reason Bitcoin Won The Payment Race Before
It may seem a bit incredulous that bitcoin won. However, there are genuine reasons why it emerged on top. One reason why Arras won with Bitcoin in North America is the community and versatility of Bitcoin. Every racer has to use just one method, which is what gives Arras some advantage. For instance, Credit and debit cards are accepted almost anywhere these days. However, what do you do if you find a place where they are not accepted?
Since bitcoin has to be shoehorned in most payments, it is almost impossible to be in a situation where it is totally shut out. Unlike cards, you can use Bitcoin to pay non-merchant individuals. Arras herself acknowledged this. She said that anyone who carries a smartphone could potentially be of use to her. In North America, she had to initiate a few people to Bitcoin. She would download a wallet for them and send them bitcoin on the spot.
Arras has already received a few offers from Bitcioners in Asian chat groups. They will help her convert BTC to their local currency. However, that is not allowed. The rules state that she must pay in BTC for her goods and services during the race. Thus, she cannot just find people who will accept bitcoins; they must be willing to exchange a service for the BTC. For instance, they must be willing to give her a lift from the airport or give her food for BTC.