The 21 day Bitcoin challenge: Surviving 21 days in China with 0.21 BTC

17 Sep, 2018
by Fifi Arisandi
News
The 21 day Bitcoin challenge: Surviving 21 days in China with 0.21 BTC

A documentary series about a Bitcoin-enthusiast girl who tries to survive living in China for 21 days with only 0.21 BTC has been airing in the Chinese Netflix, iQiyi. 

The Chinese Netflix, iQiyi has been airing a documentary series about a Chinese girl who tries to survive living in China for 21 days with only 0.21 BTC. The girl, He You Bing, whose name's direct translation is "having a disease", is required to get food, housing and other basic necessities only through Bitcoin transactions on her phone while traveling without bringing anything on hand. 

With the current rate, 0.21 BTC is valued at around USD 1,369, which may seem not much in the US. In China, however, such amount can support living for several days, even weeks. But, would that be the case if that amount of money is in the form of Bitcoin? 

On the first day of the challenge, You Bing arrived in the country's capital, Beijing where the crypto bans were hyped a while ago. She tried to enter an amusement park by paying the 2 RMB or around $0.29 entrance fee, but was unsuccessful due to the park didn't accept Bitcoin. 

She, then, tried to buy food from several fastfood restaurants, but none of them accepted Bitcoin for payment. The first day ended with You Bing eating four packets of ketchup and food samples from a supermarket and sleeping in a 24-hour McDonald's outlet. 

The second day, she still didn't manage to find food sellers that accept Bitcoin, and survived by eating fruits from trees and people's leftover burger at McDonald. She ended up getting stomach ache and throwing up everything she has eaten, while spending another night at McDonald.

On the third day, the filmmakers sent her to the hospital as she's become very weak from not eating properly in the previous days. The challenge managed to gain some attentions, where some supporters reached out to the filmmakers and brought some food which then paid by You Bing in Bitcoin. She spent the night in an art gallery. 

At this point, You Bing's story has already spread and people tried to reach to her via WeChat and offer BTC to fiat exchange support to her. As the filmmakers thought that the challenge has become too easy, they changed the rule. The new rule required You Bing to transact offline and exchange Bitcoin with people in real life.

On the sixth day, the location was changed to Shenzhen, due to a major event in the capital. By this time, 6 support groups have been created on WeChat, with each group having 500 members that consist of bitcoin believers, real estate agents, and advertising salesmen.

The following days, You Bing purchased face wash using Bitcoin from one of the WeChat supporters and managed to find a restaurant that accepts Bitcoin. She was able to exchange her Bitcoin to purchase clothes from Uniqlo and pay someone in Bitcoin to book a hotel for her. 

You Bing has gained confidence as she has had a strategy to find people she can exchange Bitcoin with the things she required. The people who reached out to offer exchanges also increased from ten to twenty to over a hundred daily, although the number of successful transaction remained a handful a day.  

Entering the 19th day of the challenge, the location was changed to Guangzhou and the story has been covered by a local media, the China Daily. This has led to various offers of donations and sponsors, which the filmmakers decided to turn all of them down, as reported by TechCrunch.

The documentary can be considered to have successfully recorded how Bitcoin communities in the country are alive and active in the digital realm, despite the government's bans. Such things, however, are not yet seen in the physical world, where many people and businesses are still not familiar and ignorant with Bitcoin.

Eventually, it all comes back to the ultimate question for Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. How to get them to gain the mass adoption that they can impact more lives in the real-world?

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Read more about: Bitcoin (BTC)

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