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Just in case you missed it, a heart-warming story unfolded this week involving an unlikely combination of bobsled, Jamaica, virtual currency, crowdfunding and generosity. It has all the makings of an inspiring Disney movie — er, an inspiring Disney sequel. Last Sunday, news began trickling out that a two-man bobsled team from the island nation of Jamaica had qualified for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Luckily, the citizens of the Internet are sympathetic to an underdog story and were not about to let the team sit this one out due to lack of funding. And that’s when Jamaican bobsledding had its first introduction to the altruistic power of both virtual currency and digital crowdfunding proponents alike. Fittingly, it was a joke currency — or a virtual currency inspired by a dog meme — that came to the rescue. Yes, the very peer-to-peer cryptocurrency loved by Lassie, the world’s pooches and geeks alike, and the very currency that began as a joke but has since been hailed as a potential successor to Bitcoin: The noble, Dogecoin.

In a movement that began on Reddit, the Dogecoin Foundation seized the opportunity to promote its virtual currency on the world stage and help send the Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi. Over a matter of days, the Dogecoin community raised over 27 million Dogecoins, the equivalent of $30,000 for those without a canine cryptocurrency analyst on hand.

Y Combinator-incubated, group-funding platform, Crowdtilt. A Jamaican bobsled fan launched a campaign on Crowdtilt to pool funds for the team from sympathetic fans and, before long, the startup got wind of the campaign, as did the team’s president, Chris Stokes, and founding member of the original “Cool Runnings” team, Devon Harris.

The team made the Crowdtilt effort its “official fundraising campaign,” and the Crowdtilt founders worked with the Dogecoin Foundation to convert the $30K raised in Dogecoin (from 1,600 Dogecoin supporters) into Bitcoin and then combine it with the money raised on Crowdtilt.

How Cryptocurrency, Crowdfunding And A Little

Internet Altruism Saved Jamaica’s Hopes For Bobsled Gold

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/26/how-cryptocurrency-crowdfunding-and-a-little-internet-altruism-saved-the-olympics-for-jamaicas-bobsled/

http://www.reddit.com/r/dogecoin/comments/1w9ydg/how_cryptocurrency_crowdfunding_and_a_little/

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Just in case you missed it, a heart-warming story unfolded this week involving an unlikely combination of bobsled, Jamaica, virtual currency, crowdfunding and generosity. It has all the makings of an

inspiring Disney movie — er, an inspiring Disney sequel. Last Sunday,

news began trickling out that a two-man bobsled team from the island nation of Jamaica had qualified for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The country’s official Twitter account for the 2014 games announced the news that the team had qualified, including an image that appeared to be a reference to

Cool Runnings , the John Candy-led cult film that loosely chronicled Jamaica’s debut in bobsled for the 1988 Olympic Games in Alberta, Canada.

The world apparently loves a sequel. In a plot twist seemingly right out of Cool Runnings, despite qualifying for the 2014 Olympics, team captain Winston Watts

told the New York Times that the team hadn’t been able to raise the necessary funds to make it to Russia. Watts said that he had essentially been self-funding the team’s efforts thus far, and had even dug into his personal savings to fly the team to the U.S. for the bobsledding qualifiers. Nevertheless, after finding little help from the Jamaican Olympic Association or private investors, the team was forced to turn elsewhere.

In the world of bobsled, and perhaps sports in general, there has never been a more quintessential underdog story. First of all, the Jamaican bobsled team is from, well, Jamaica. Second, the team is competing against teams with <del datetime=”2014-01-27T11:28:26+00:00″>significant</del> some financial backing (and actually hail from more arctic climes). Not only that, Winston Watts came out of retirement to lead the 2014 bobsled team, and if the team were to compete in Sochi, Watts would be second-oldest bobsled pilot in Olympic history at age 46.

Luckily, the citizens of the Internet are sympathetic to an underdog story and were not about to let the team sit this one out due to lack of funding. And that’s when Jamaican bobsledding had its first introduction to the altruistic power of both virtual currency and digital crowdfunding proponents alike. Fittingly, it was a joke currency — or a virtual currency inspired by a dog meme — that came to the rescue. Yes, the very peer-to-peer cryptocurrency loved by Lassie, the world’s pooches and geeks alike, and the very currency that began as a joke but has

since been hailed as a potential successor to Bitcoin: The noble,

Dogecoin .

In a

movement that began on Reddit , the Dogecoin Foundation seized the opportunity to promote its virtual currency on the world stage and help send the Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi. Over a matter of days, the Dogecoin community raised over 27 million Dogecoins, the equivalent of $30,000 for those without a canine cryptocurrency analyst on hand.

*That, in and of itself, is something to behold, but the Internet wasn’t done yet. Just as the Dogecoin campaign began to hit full steam, word of the Jamaican bobsled team’s plight got to the founders of Y Combinator-incubated, group-funding platform,

Crowdtilt . A Jamaican bobsled fan

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