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Could you get from Toronto to Las Vegas using… bitcoin?


Given the “widening” acceptance of bitcoin, one marketing director is set to travel North America using just the digital currency.

As of last week, one bitcoin is worth more than $US5,000, while in September the currency became recognised as an accepted form of payment by travel juggernaut, Expedia.

Marketing director at Adastra Marketing, Amelie Arras has such confidence in the currency that on 18 October, she will begin a seven-day voyage from Toronto to Las Vegas using just the currency for food, accommodation and transport.

With a Las Vegas and Money20/20 conference finish line, Ms Arras will be competing against five other racers who will be using different forms of currency.

The currencies include mobile wallet, bitcoin, gold, contactless, chip and pin, coins and swipe and sign, and JCB Cards.

Money20/20 is a fintech, payments and financial services conference.

“For many years, people have been talking about the imminent arrival of a cashless society,” says Simon Paris, deputy CEO at fintech, Finastra.

“I highly doubt they imagined gold bullion or cheques making a comeback to bring this to fruition… but the race is on and as well as being good fun, it really highlights the changing payments landscape – as well as some of the cutting-edge technologies that are driving the shift.”

Adastra noted that the last person to attempt a race using bitcoin “was unable to leave London”, despite their “best efforts”, but expressed confidence that Ms Arras would be able to win.

Ms Arras added: “I’m really excited to be part of the race and to have bitcoin as my payment method. 

Considering Bitcoin’s slow evolution into a legitimate payment method, Ms Arras continued: “It may still be seen by most consumers as an investment rather than a method of payment but hopefully perception and acceptance by merchants is starting to change… I am determined to win the race!”

The organiser of the payment race, Ali Paterson of Fintech Finance said the inaugural race “offers a brilliant insight into the leverage that different methods of payment can offer users”.

“When it comes to everyday transactions, consumers should have a choice – and that choice should not be dictated by the seller. We want to demonstrate that there is not one payment to rule them all.”

The digital currency recently made headlines after Dutch man Didi Taihuttu sold “everything” for bitcoin including the family home, his motorbike, furniture and children’s toys.

He explains on his Instagram account: “We just hope that we can inspire a lot of people to start living the life they really want to live.

“We strongly believe crypto and blockchain is the next step in the evolution of money. That is the reason we took this step/risk and started to chase our dreams instead of running the hamster wheel.”

Investor opinion

According to a recent Nest Egg poll, most respondents (39.8 per cent) believe blockchain technology, like bitcoin, will have a negative impact on the investment industry.

A further 28.8 per cent are unsure about whether this technology will have a positive or negative impact while 31.4 per cent believe the technology will have a positive impact on the investment sphere.

Could you get from Toronto to Las Vegas using… bitcoin?
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