A Bitcoin car driven by the “Bitcoin Ambassadors” team is competing in the 8,000-kilometer Baltic Sea Circle Rally race, orange-pilling competitors and campsites along the way.
Two Bitcoin (BTC) advocates — Cercatrova, the democratically elected president of the German-speaking Bitcoin community Einundzwanzig, and his co-pilot, Daktari — set off on the orange-pilling adventure this week, attempting to pass through nine Northern European countries in their Bitcoin-branded car.
Speaking to Cointelegraph from somewhere above the Arctic Circle, Cercatrova explained:
“The whole rally is a charity rally. There are 150 teams or cars. It starts in Hamburg and goes up to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and around the Baltic Sea. It’s around 8,000 kilometers, 16 days, and we’re the only Bitcoin team here — none of the other teams are cryptocurrency teams.”
The goal is to “bring Bitcoin to the people” while also raising money for two sources: a Panamanian coffee farmer and a Salvadoran peer-to-peer ride-sharing app developed on the Lightning Network. Naturally, they’ve been “orange-pilling,” or introducing people to Bitcoin, along the journey.
Christian, founder of Seedor — a metal Bitcoin backup based in Germany — who’s avidly following their journey told Cointelegraph that while in Norway, “They orange-pilled the campground.” The duo showed the campground owner how to pay in Bitcoin:
Orange pilling the campground owner in Norway
— cercatrova⚡️ (@cercatrova_21) June 21, 2023
Cercatrova told Cointelegraph that so far, they have discussed Bitcoin with at least 30 people as part of the rally in chance conversations with interested observers. Plus, passersby and overtakers can scan the QR code on the side of the car to receive free satoshis, or small amounts of Bitcoin, to get started on their Bitcoin journey.
“So, when somebody sees us and asks about Bitcoin — ‘How does it work?’ — we can actually take the people to our car and say, ‘Okay, just install a wallet and it’s done in about 30 seconds.’ And they’re amazed: ‘I didn’t have to fill out anything, didn’t have to take a passport or whatever. It just works.’”
The car is also equipped with a candy machine that accepts Bitcoin, so newbies can spend their brand-new sats on candy, “just to see how it works,” Cercatrova explained.
For the Bitcoin enthusiasts following at home, the car is Lightning-ready. A remote-play jukebox and a Lightning-switch horn can be operated from all around the world. Fans and supporters worldwide are sending their song requests to the car’s Lightning-ready Telegram group, paying less than a dollar for the courtesy.
Choose which song we will listen at the #BalticSeaCircle Rally and honk our horn over Lightning All sats will go to the https://t.co/vB9oXhpbrh project (from @FPupusas), 2 indios in panama, who make coffee for sats and to the creater of the jukebox ☕️ pic.twitter.com/x6IsuhPZZA
— cercatrova⚡️ (@cercatrova_21) June 20, 2023
Lightning enthusiasts can also set off the car’s horn from thousands of miles away. The process uses a Lightning switch that turns on when it has received enough sats. Cercatrova explains:
“On my Twitter feed is also the QR code, where you can scan the Lightning invoice. And when you pay that, it’s about 3,000 sats to honk it once. And then our car honks!”
The honk is comically loud and playful, while the Lightning jukebox playlist has featured music ranging from metal to Mozart and German folk tunes to crypto classics such as “Pump It Up.” Cercatrova explained that the musical variation is a great source of fun and motivation:
“One time there is death metal, and the other side it’s Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and it’s really crazy.”
To date, the Bitcoin Ambassadors rally team has raised approximately 4 million satoshis ($1,200) for charity, although Cercatrova added that “the next days and the willingness to send more sats” could drive the number higher. The drivers are about halfway through the journey, expecting to finish by the end of June.
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As vital research for this article, reporter Joe Hall not only set off the horn during the phone interview but also queued up a famous song by Rick Astley.
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