After a year of ups and downs – mostly downs if one measures the success by the market price – the Bitcoin world was treated to a pair of significant end-of-year events which suggest that 2015 is going to be even more exciting for the pioneering cryptocurrency as well as others out in the wings.
The first was the long-awaited “Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl” – a post-season college football match on December 26th between North Carolina State and the University of Central Florida and broadcast on ESPN. The event, sponsored by major Bitcoin payment provider Bitpay, was the most significant event to put Bitcoin in front of new audiences this year, definitely eclipsing the “Dogecar”, a car sponsored by Dogecoin fans which raced last May (read our coverage of viewing parties in LA and in NYC). This was a nearly 3-hour long event with persistent branding and multiple commercials all supporting Bitcoin and Bitpay.
Spelunkin hosted a viewing party at Old Man Hustle – a bar that itself accepts bitcoin for payment – with giveaways and more during the game. The bar was good enough to give fans both of their screens for the duration of the game. The broadcast itself was very well done, with “Bitcoin” or “Bitpay” appearing all over the screen in the form of on- and near-field adverts, in various overlay graphics, and mentioned by the commentators at seemingly every turn. Suffice to say that the “Drink on ‘Bitcoin’!” drinking game rules needed to be abandoned quickly due to safety concerns. Also, Bitpay launched three separate commercials during the broadcast, later also putting them up on YouTube. Watch them here:
Commercial 1 – “Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl Executive Message From BitPay’s Stephen Pair & Tony Gallippi”
Commercial 2 – “BitBoris, Say Goodbye to Processing Fees Forever With BitPay”
Commercial 3 – “I Accept Bitcoin with BitPay”
The second event, which was held on Sunday the 28th, was certainly significantly smaller but there was one element that made it stand out as a positive indicator of the future. Dr. Solomon Lederer from Coinspace.io set up a small mobile kiosk and handed out bitcoin to interested passers-by near the Shake Shack at 215 Murray St. in New York City. While giveaways and physical “faucets” have happened in the past, this one was conducted entirely using the “bits” denomination (1,000-3,000 per person), showing that the future of Bitcoin as a currency lies in avoiding sub-decimal notation and moving towards the much more psychologically-friendly “bits”. This is a trend that the entire network has moved towards in short order and it is long overdue.