LONDON, May 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As crypto acceptance amongst travel agents, hotels, airlines, food outlets, petrol stations, car hire companies and ATMs continues to grow around the world, is circumnavigating the globe with nothing but a wallet full of bitcoin now a realistic prospect?
This is what Alex Hobern, the 24-year-old winner of Channel 4's the Circle, will find out on the 23rd of June when he takes on The Payments Race: Round the World, organised by Fintech Finance. Representing Team Crypto, which is sponsored by Wirex, SmartStream and Token, Alex will travel from London to Amsterdam (heading West, the long way round) using only decentralised digital currency as a means of payment.
In less than a decade, cryptocurrency has developed into a vast industry worth more than $240 billion. Despite its popularity and the undeniable practicality of underlying technologies like blockchain, decentralised digital currency is yet to truly experience mainstream acceptance. Despite this, Pavel Matveev, CEO of Wirex, thinks that mass adoption is only a matter of time. In a recent interview he identified volatility, scalability, and usability as the main obstacles that need to be overcome before crypto enters the mainstream.
Stablecoins are one way of mitigating market volatility and advanced protocols such as the Stellar blockchain can process 4,000 transactions-per-second (tps), solving the scalability issue. Yet practicality remains a genuine problem for people who want to use their digital currency in everyday life, as Matveev explains:
"Using crypto for day-to-day payments can still be very complicated. Our mission at Wirex is to make it more accessible to everyone - that's why we're delighted to sponsor Team Crypto and Alex Hobern in the Payments Race. Alex is relatively new to the world of cryptocurrency, so the race is an opportunity to find out how far we've come as a practical solution for spending crypto."
Recent market movements and the announcement that the likes of Starbucks are now accepting crypto payments has given the community high hopes for Team Crypto.
The latest global iteration of The Payments Race comes fresh off the back of extremely successful payments races in the US, Asia and Europe, previous racers included Amelie Arras, champion of the 2017 US edition, and Maximilien Meilleur, also champion of the 2018 US edition. The race starts in London on the 23rd of May and ends at the Money 20/20 expo in Amsterdam on the 3rd of June.
Team Crypto racer Alex Hobern will only be allowed to use cryptocurrency to pay for his transportation, accommodation, food and drinks during the race. The three competing racers will be restricted to bank cards, mobile payments and cash respectively.
Race organiser Ali Paterson, Editor in Chief of Fintech Finance, said, "It's time to up the game and see the global nature of payments. It is a brilliant and fun opportunity to show not only the limitations of different payment methods but also the cultural differences around the world.
To follow Alex's adventure, visit The Payment Race page.
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SOURCE Fintech Finance