Bitcoin Travelling Couple on Wall Street Journal and Guardian (updated)
The bitcoin couple managed to travel around the world without using a single dollar or cent of fiat and just used bitcoins have also managed to land themselves into the wall street journal. The bitcoin couple were previously here in Singapore.
Want to read about another bitcoin event that happened in Singapore? The Singapore Bitcoin Conference.
a tricontinental odyssey taken with his wife, Beccy Bingham-Craig, 29, and a film crew documenting their travails, which started in Provo, Utah. Their mission: to live on bitcoin alone. “It’s been consistently inconvenient and occasionally frustrating,” Mr. Craig said outside Lean Crust, “but never impossible.”…
But in the past 12 months, the bitcoin zeitgeist has taken on a life of its own. The currency is discussed at investing conferences now. The Winklevoss twins, known for their fight with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, have started a bitcoin fund. It also has gained the attention of regulators who worry it can be used to launder money.
For the Craigs, bitcoin represented a chance at adventure—and an underground movie career.
They began their trek in October by driving east from Provo in Ms. Bingham-Craig’s 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. After arriving in New York on Oct. 17, they flew to Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore before eventually returning to Provo. In the end, they lasted 101 days, from July 23 to Nov. 1.
The Craigs weren’t part of the bitcoin underground when they began the project. Mr. Craig said he first heard of the currency in 2011 and then came up with the plan to live and travel solely on bitcoin.
“I’m really excited about bitcoin and its future,” Mr. Craig said. “It’s a reimagining of money.”
Starting July 23, the day they returned from their honeymoon, the Craigs paid for everything with bitcoin, from rent to food to gas. At that time, one bitcoin was worth about $98, based on trading at the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange, a primary exchange bitcoin enthusiasts have tracked.
“In the end,” Mr. James [whom they pay rent to] said, “it hasn’t been as much of an inconvenience as I thought it would be.” While he hasn’t become a convert, he did say he thought the experiment sounded like fun and was “happy to be a part of it.”
The car was stocked with food and other supplies—like four five-gallon gas tanks, which were covered under a tarp to fight the fumes and were carried in case the couple couldn’t find a gas station.
With help from the two German travel agencies, SimplyTravelOnline.com and 9flats, they booked flights and hotels.
In New York, they ate pizza. In Stockholm, they went hungry the first night. In Singapore, Ms. Binghman-Craig got a henna tattoo. At every stop, Mr. Craig said, they found at least one bitcoiner willing to help.
“We didn’t know how much the duration of it would wear us down,” Mr. Craig said. “Totally average things became monumental challenges.”
Bitcoin prices have recently crossed the 400 mark, putting it as a new record for bitcoin. Before its recent high, a lucky Norweigian had unearthed his 2009 stash of bitcoin which he had bought for $27, that was worth $886,000 then before bitcoins recent high. He then used bitcoin to buy an upscale apartment, although with bitcoin above $400 he might well be able to buy a few times that too now.
Besides the Bitcoin couple’s travels in Singapore, Singapore has also other ties to bitcoin, with a Singaporean pilot flying off to start a Swedish bitcoin exchange
Negotiating foreign currencies can be a headache for any traveller. Persuading someone to accept payment in a currency they’ve never even heard of presents a new challenge altogether. But after 100 days on the road, newlyweds Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham have proved that it is possible to travel the world using nothing but bitcoin.
But although it hasn’t been easy, the couple, who are making a documentary about the project, have been surprised at the willingness of so many individuals to agree to accept Bitcoin for the first time. “Today we were walking through a market for the Divali festival and a woman asked me if I wanted a hennah tattoo,” says Bingham. “I really did. So I sat down and said to her, look I really want this but this is the situation. She was quite heistant at first but we offered to pay a bit extra and she said OK. She had a smartphone so we were able to set her up and do the payment right away.”
Compared to traditional payment methods, bitcoin is an attractive prospect for business owners like Amon. “Bitcoin has no risk of credit card fraud or credit card chargebacks,” he explains. “This is a huge problem for the travel industry because the payments are often large.”
Independent hostels and hotels are also slowly beginning to accept the currency. Bitcoin is now accepted in locations as far afield as Hainan Island in the South China Sea and the town of Lanquin in the Guatemalan rainforest. Pacific Tradewinds San Francisco Backpacker Hostel offers a 10% discount on all bitcoin payments.
But to really make the most of travelling by bitcoin, you need to do some research. Looking at where existing clusters of bitcoin businesses exist led Craig and Bingham to Kreuzberg in Berlin, as well as Stockholm and Singapore where the currency is taking off.
Their advice to travellers considering following in their footsteps? “Do your homework,” says Craig. “Everywhere we’ve been there’s been some kind of bitcoin community. The success comes from reaching out to these communities. And they’ve been reaching out to us too.”