As Olympians in Pyeongchang, Korea perform to huge audiences in the popular events of skying, snowboarding and hockey. Less popular US lugers have turned to Bitcoin to fuel their sleds.
Bitcoin funds US luge team
The USA Luge Foundation began campaigning for donations of Bitcoin using Medium since December of 2017. The team is the first Olympic group to set up its own Bitcoin wallet to accept donations.
USA luge marketing director and former double silver medalists Gary Sheer said that matching Bitcoin to the US luge endowment fund is a natural fit;
“You know, we hear a lot of jokes about lugers being crazy, and people don’t know why we do it. But luge is something that gets into your blood and transforms your life and the Bitcoiners we’ve met know exactly what it’s like to be all in on something that the world doesn’t appreciate yet. We’ve looked at Bitcoin hard, and it is definitely a risk-reward we understand and are eager to take.”
Although no Olympic team is allowed to have any type of advertising on their uniforms or equipment during the games the team has promised to promote the cryptocurrency in up and coming competitions.
The team has laid out a rewards schedule depending on how much Bitcoin they raise in the future.
- 5 BTC – Bitcoin’s logo will appear on team hats and memorabilia hats.
- 10 BTC – Above, including Bitcoin logo sewn onto all luge team outerwear for the
- 2018 season (excluding the Winter Olympics).
- 25 BTC – All of the above, including Bitcoin logo of sleds for the next two seasons.
- 50 BTC – All of the above, with Bitcoin logo on sleds for next four seasons.
- 100 BTC – All the above including Bitcoin logo on team skin suits for four years (excluding Olympics).
For 21 million the team promised to find ‘Satoshi and get him on a sled’ – 21 million is the finite number of Bitcoins.
Cash only at Olympic Village
Being that South Korea is a major hub of cryptocurrency trading and the Olympics an international event one would expect vendors and facilities to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies during the events.
That is not the case though. According to Forbes there is only one place to spend your Bitcoin, a single ski rental shop at the Olympic Village. Many were expecting vendors to take up the platform Coinduck which allows payment in Etheruem and then pays the local vendor in Korean Won. The lack of cryptocurrency at the games could be a reflection of the countries current conflicted views on regulating cryptocurrency markets.