A group of bitcoin enthusiasts just ran, ride a bike and swim across Europe, all to promote cryptocurrency that they believe is leaving a powerful and positive brand in the world.
The first “Satoshi Freeathlon” officially ended this weekend, in which a group of seven bitcoin enthusiasts flexed their athletic skills by traveling from Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley” in the small town of Zug, Switzerland, to Munich, Germany , an adventure of 221 miles in total.
Executing purely bitcoin donations, the loose group called “Team Satoshi” embarked on the search in an attempt to create a positive awareness of bitcoin, which even 10 years after its launch as open source software, believe it receives too much negative pressure in the media.
The creation of Vitus Zeller, a German who started the project with a 10-day adventure of his own nickname “Satoshi Tour”, Zeller used bitcoin to pay for hotel stays while touring the country by bicycle.
He told CoinDesk:
“In mainstream perception, bitcoin is mostly the money of the dark web [for buying drugs], an energy over-consuming technology or a purely speculative asset.”
Zeller’s idea was to promote bitcoin values, including freedom of information and privacy, in a new way. “Bitcoin needs all kinds of voices that make people curious about it,” he said.
Meanwhile, sports generate a more optimistic image. “Sport is a deeply emotional issue for humans. For thousands of years, athletes have been admired. Emperors in ancient times, as well as rulers in modern times, have been using sport for political reasons, ”said Zeller.
‘Monster Lake’ and beyond
The preparation for the “freeathlon” took a long time.
“Now we have together hundreds of hours of intense training for this event. I, for example, ran a half marathon every week, ”said Zeller, who runs a distance of 21 kilometers.
“Preparation really meant going far beyond my personal limits,” he added.
But after months of training for each of the participants, they were ready for the trip. Three crew members of the Satoshi team (Zeller, as well as Moritz Biersack and Thomas Bette) worked during the four days.
The rest of the group (including bitcoin podcast presenter Anita Posch, LocalBitcoins founder Jeremias Kangas and Veronika Kuett) participated in one or more days of the event.
The first day was a mini triathalon that began with a 2-kilometer bath, followed by a mountain bike ride.
Day two: Swiming across Bodonsee
On the second day he swam through a Bodonsee, a lake where Austria, Switzerland and Germany meet, which Zeller repeatedly called a “monster.” Measuring 12 kilometers away, the crew took five hours to cross.
“Crossing this monstrous lake […] was a crazy experience. The waves, the currents and the fact that for a long time we didn’t even see the other side until it cleared, “he said.
For this, it was not as simple as swimming. Zeller said “they needed a doctor’s note, as well as a cold water certification to show that we know what we are doing and can withstand this great swimming distance.”
Just across the lake, the team began on day three, cycling 190 kilometers (approximately 118 miles) from Friedrichshafen to Starnberg, cities in Germany. [something about high altitude?]
“With my 49 years of age, the biggest challenge for me was keeping up with the young people in the uphill sections. I think I did quite well, which is great, ”said Anita Posch, bitcoin podcast host and member of the Satoshi team.
The last day was a marathon, running and sweating to Munich. They arrived at the pub for a welcome celebration once they crossed the finish line.
Zeller’s idea with all this is bold: to promote cypherpunk values, honoring those who were among the first to warn how the Internet could introduce new privacy concerns.
He specifically refers to the “A Cypherpunk Manifesto” as a kind of guiding force: a brief essay written by Eric Hughes in 1993, only a couple of years before the Internet, which addresses the issue of privacy.
“With Team Satoshi I had the idea of creating a decentralized marketing instrument […] for bitcoin and the values it represents (freedom of information, freedom of opinion, privacy, freedom of transaction and human rights) that derive from the Cypherpunk Manifesto “. Zeller said.
It seems a strange idea to defend with sports, but Zeller makes a sincere argument to unite the two themes.
“Sport has been a powerful political tool to manipulate people,” he said, pointing to the gladiators, who entertained the Romans with life-threatening fights. He even pointed out the Olympic games, which faces members of different nationalities from each other.
His idea is that anyone in the world can create their own Team Satoshi event: “[Anyone] can create [sport] challenges on their own,” he said, updating the wiki website with the event.
As far as crazy as it sounds, Zeller wonders if this could turn into a profession one day: “Members of the Satoshi Team can even try to make this a profession around the world, if they can find sponsors or people from the ecosystem that support them. . ”
“I believe Team Satoshi can potentially become a powerful movement as a soft marketing layer on top of bitcoin which connects bitcoin to the rest of the world and helps push it to mainstream adoption.”
Images via Team Satoshi