Despite China’s crypto crackdown, a Chinese cryptocurrency enthusiast recently embarked on a twenty-one-day journey to survive solely on a small stash of Bitcoin, no more, no less.
21 Days, 0.21 Bitcoin
When it comes to cryptocurrency diehards, there isn’t anyone as committed as China-based crypto proponent He You Bing, who recently took to China’s streets to begin her 21-day challenge that revolves around the day-to-day use of Bitcoin. Oddly enough, the You Bing part of her name is colloquially used as an insult, as the two Chinese characters can be read as “having a disease/problem,” while her whole name, as TechCrunch puts it, alludes to “the girl’s over-enthusiasm for bitcoin.”
Regardless, as chronicled on iQiyi, one of China’s Netflix equivalents, He You Bing is supposed to survive for 21 days on only 0.21 Bitcoin, or $1,350 at the time of writing, with her self-imposed rules dictating that she couldn’t have anything on her person at the start of the challenge except for her phone. The initial goal was for her to obtain a sufficient amount of food, proper accommodation, and the basic necessities all via a Bitcoin wallet on her phone, all while being situated in Beijing and Shenzhen, two booming metropolises on the east coast of China.
And although the challenge is nearing its end now, it is interesting to look back at her unique, yet eye-opening experience.
At first, the enthusiast ran into some issues, to put it lightly, with virtually all of the vendors she approached revealing that they do not accept Bitcoin or crypto assets in general, nor understand the concept of what cryptocurrencies are and what they do.
Moreover, her first win, so to speak, wasn’t even related to Bitcoin, as she found an unlocked rental bike that she used to traverse around Beijing. As such, she had to survive on ketchup packets and supermarket sample products, while sleeping at a fast food restaurant on her first day out in the concrete jungle.
Surprisingly, the trials and tribulations of the first day didn’t make her second and third day any better, in fact, it can be argued that those days turned out to be much worse, as she ended up in the hospital from a lack of nutrition and a stomach illness from foraged fruits and a leftover burger. But as He You Bing’s story gained traction across the Chinese intranet, other enthusiasts like herself began to flock to her side, with over 3,000 individuals forming WeChat groups to support Bing.
Following the formation of these groups, Bing’s Bitcoin life became something that resembles a dream, as the aforementioned 3,000 supporters began to offer her supplies in exchange for BTC, while also helping her find places that accepted digital assets. Now, she has purchased train tickets, hotel stays, and her meals, all with Bitcoin and nothing more.
While the challenge likely deviated from her initial plan, the support she received shows that the Chinese cryptocurrency community is as strong as ever, even in the face of heavy-handed regulators and harsh rules and policies that aim to curb the use and development of crypto.
But regardless, there’s still a way to go, as although her supporters picked singled out Bitcoin-friendly stores, over 99 percent of the people she approached likely thought she was a lunatic when she brought up the idea of Bitcoin, referred to as “magical internet money” in some circles. So maybe we should take a step back and not only focus on Bing’s challenge but take note that there are still many across the world who have yet to adopt or even know what crypto is.
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