Jamaican Bobsled Team Embraces Crypto-Currency - The Arkansas Traveler: Opinion

Jamaican Bobsled Team Embraces Crypto-Currency

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:00 am

Real life and movies often have little in common.  The last time I fell madly in love on sight, we never kissed in the rain.  I asked her to go get coffee, and she said yes, but then she bailed.  So, that was kind of a bummer.  But, every now and again, things line up just right.  That’s what happened in “Cool Runnings,” the greatest movie ever made about the Jamaican bobsled team.  This year, real life is handing them a sequel.

The Olympics are a special place.  It’s hard to go, because you have to be really good at something, and this year, you have to be able to pay your way to Russia.  It’s not necessarily finding good bobsledders that seems to the be the problem for the Jamaicans.  They have plenty of talent.  What they lack, is the funds.

This year, it seems that the internet may have saved the Jamaican Bobsled Team, as they managed to raise $25,000 in cryptocurrency to compete in the Olympics.  The particular currency is called Dogecoin, and it’s a mixture of two equally interesting things.  One of them is the currency bitcoin, which gained widespread notoriety through a combination of factors, involving a massive raise in it’s potential value coupled by the fact that it was used (some say originally,) for the sale of illicit drugs over the internet.  The prefix, doge, is actually based off of a popular internet meme that makes use of really bad English and a cute little dog…

I find this particular scenario hugely interesting, as the fate of the Jamaican Bobsled Team seems to be hanging on the validity of an internet based currency!  According to The Guardian, as many as 26 million Dogecoins were donated, and the team responsible for the currency secured an exchange rate that would allow the money to be transformed into some real cash.

And with that, the Jamaican Bobsled Team is going to the Olympics.  Whether or not Cool Runnings Two is already in production remains to be seen.  The question this story seems to be asking has maybe less to do with heroic bobsledding and more to do with the future of electronic currency.  Bitcoin is the leading form of these so-called cryptocurrencies, but it has been notoriously unreliable, which leads me to worry about the future of internet commerce revolving around such a means of currency.

Bitcoin had several very prominent supporters, including the Winklevoss twins, whose fame was equally assured by a movie about real life—the Social Network. The twins must not be ready to give up attempting to make an internet fortune, but their interest already seems misplaced.  Only a couple weeks ago, the stock value of bitcoin plummeted, as one of the worlds largest conversion centers, located in China, was shut down for reasons still unknown.

I never did buy any stock, so I’m not too terribly concerned.  What I am concerned with is seeing the Jamaican Bobsled Team in Sochi.  For this, I can only hope that Dogecoin will do its job.  After all, we all root for the underdog.  Such love.  Many bobsled.  

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