Alex Hobern, winner of UK Channel 4 show The Circle and social media creator and TV personality, is travelling the world using only Crypto currency as part of The Payments Race: Round the World.
Representing Team Crypto, he is making his way from London to Amsterdam (heading West, the long way round) using only decentralised digital currency as a means of payment.
The three competing racers are restricted to bank cards, mobile payments and cash respectively.
Being completely new to the world of Fintech and Crypto has obviously posed a number of challenges along the way, but at the time of writing Alex had made it from the UK to Canada, the US and Hong Kong.
We caught up with him in Hong Kong for an exclusive interview.
Why did you choose Crypto as your payment method?
In my view, it poses the biggest challenge. With a large and dedicated community, its adoption by merchants is extremely low. Being someone that thrives out of their comfort zone, I decided it was the best way to make the trip an actual challenge.
What did you know about Crypto before leaving the race?
Absolutely nothing. All I knew was that a bunch of people got rich off bitcoin in 2016/17, and that I wished I was one of them.
How did get your head round crypto?
The sponsors of the race Wirex essentially took me on a crash course during the week before the race, teaching me the basics that I continue to understand as each day goes by.
How has your journey been so far?
Incredible, fantastic, awesome, are just a few of the words I would use to describe it. I have had an unbelievable time and the community throughout the world are nothing but supportive.
What has been your best moment with crypto so far?
Probably yachting in San Fran bay, thanks to Cheung Tam from Token.io , who bought us tickets and I paid him back in Bitcoin.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in traveling with Crypto?
No merchants accept it. We have been in to a place called the ‘Crypto Cafe’ and even they didn’t take any Crypto. Luckily Future.Travel (Flights) and Trippki (Hotels), have been lifesavers, allowing me to get to places, whilst I just have to find Crypto enthusiasts on the ground to help me out.
How many different Crypto currencies have you used so far?
So far only Bitcoin, but I feel like Asia will be a different story.
Would you choose this payment method if you had to do it again?
Yes, I wouldn’t change anything about this experience so far. It has been more rewarding then I ever could have imagined. I can’t wait to see what Asia/Europe has to offer!
Now you know a bit more, do you see yourself using Crypto in your daily life?
I can see myself becoming an avid Crypto enthusiast after this journey. Would be very interested to get into it more from the investment side. It’s an awesome thrill when it comes to trading.