Amelie Arras: The girl who travelled and paid in Bitcoin
Amelie Arras, if you haven’t heard her name, we suggest you do so because she is representing Bitcoin and other crypto-currency in the Payments race, an initiate by Money 20 20 and Fintech Finance.
Payments race is a special race in which a participant has to travel from point A to point B, with only one form of payment. A participant is not allowed to use any other form payment. So, if a participant is given Bitcoin as a form of payment, they can only use Bitcoin during the race. The form of payments includes cash, cards, mobile wallets, crypto-currencies and gold bullions.
Amelie Arras’s form of Payment is Crypto-currency. And she has chosen Bitcoin as the preferred crypto-currency. After winning the first race, from Toronto to Las Vegas, she tried her hands on the payment race again. This time from Hong Kong to Singapore. We at Blockmanity had a chance to catch up with her for a quick chat.
A quick chat with Amelie Arras
Blockmanity: Hey, Amelie how are you?
Amelie: Hey, I am doing great. Had lots of fun taking part in the Payments Race.
Blockmanity: Good to hear! How did the race go?
Amelie: The race was exciting and challenging at the same time. In fact, the Payments Race Asia was more challenging than the North Amercian one.
Blockmanity: Challenging? Was it because very fewer people accept bitcoin in South East Asia?
Amelie: Yes, that’s one big factor. The penetration of Bitcoin adoption was really less compared to North America. And another contributing factor was the price volatility of Bitcoin. Last time the race happened during the Bitcoin boom when I was in North America, so I ended up having more money than I initially started with. But this time due to price difference and huge amounts of volatility it wasn’t that easy. In fact, Just 2 hrs after the race, the value of Bitcoin dropped 6%, and I ended up losing 6% of my overall budget. And in some places, I had to pay double to people who would accept Bitcoin due to people, not accepting Bitcoin.
Blockmanity: Wow, must be a hell of a trip. What was your path like?
Amelie: It sure was! My journey began from Hong Kong to Vietnam, from where I had to reach Thailand and finally to Malaysia and Singapore.
Blockmanity: And you did that in 4 days? Wow! Where did you face the most trouble?
Amelie: Vietnam and Thailand were the most difficult leg in this trip. Bitcoin payments are illegal in Vietnam, but merchants do want to accept it. This did cause a lot of difficulty in finding people who would accept Bitcoin. As for Thailand, before the race, a few people were kidnapped in Phuket and were tortured to reveal their private key, due to this reason many people in Thailand weren’t publicly announcing that they accept/have Bitcoin, even though they have a big and vibrant community.
Blockmanity: That’s bad, but we are glad that you were able to finish the race. How do you think we can increase the merchant adoption rate of Bitcoin?
Amelie: Education is the main factor which I think, that can change the mind of merchants. What I noticed in my travels was that people are aware of Bitcoin, but still fear it due to media propaganda. There’s a clear lack of understanding and how-tos regarding Bitcoin. Another factor that would make Bitcoin a favorable mode of payment is Bitcoin Futures, being developed by CoinFloor, one of the largest exchanges in the UK. This would combat the price volatility issue of Bitcoin.
Blockmanity: You are right education is still lacking regarding crypto-currency. And we think that’s the first step in changing the minds of the merchants.
Amelie won the Toronto to Las Vegas race by coming first, but in the Asia race, she came 4th due price volatility and less acceptance of Bitcoin in South East Asia. Although Singapore was an exception with banks readily supporting crypto-currencies.
We at Blockmanity would like to thank Amelie for taking time out for this article and we wish her a huge success in her future races.
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Disclaimer: Blockmanity is a news portal and does not provide any financial advice. Blockmanity's role is to inform the cryptocurrency and blockchain community about what's going on in this space. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment. Blockmanity won't be responsible for any loss of funds.