I Survived on Bitcoin for 14 Days | Cointelegraph Documentary

Here we are at the gas station. Let’s go see if they’d
actually take Bitcoin here. Excuse me, quick question. Do you guys accept Bitcoin, no? Do we take Bitcoin? No.
Have you heard of Bitcoin? Oh, okay. I’m doing a survey about Bitcoin. Not interested. Cryptocurrencies and digital assets
marked the frontier of the technological world. They are the Wild West of the Internet. Loosely regulated, highly volatile entities that may
well become the future of global currencies in as little as a decade. But can they be used
to lead a sustainable lifestyle? Is it possible to live solely
off of Bitcoin in 2019? In essence, what does it
take to go fully digital? I have made one rule for myself to follow. Every purchase that I make has
to be made with Bitcoin. With a rule that simple, how
hard can this challenge really be? First things first, we’re going to
set up a Bitcoin wallet. After a little research, I decided
to create a Coinbase account. Since I didn’t have much prior experience with
crypto, it seems like the simplest, safest and easiest platforms to use. Number two, we’re going to find out
if we can buy some food. I mean, we’re in New York City. There’s gotta be somewhere in New
York City that accepts Bitcoin. There will be someone. There has to be. There has to be. There has to be. I’ve looked online to see where the places are
that like on Yelp, they give you a list and I called almost everyone on the list
and almost everyone didn’t accept my call. Oh my God, why are they even on that
list? Exactly. How are you going to survive? Here I was living in New
York, the financial and food capital… of the world. No food delivery service,
no direct access, no third party retailers, nothing. I was just utterly baffled. I mean, how could this be possible? I decided to talk to a couple of
my crypto savvy friends to find out. It’s a scalability issue, which means that when
a lot of people are using the network, the network slows down and becomes incredibly
expensive to use and doesn’t work properly. Doesn’t function as it’s supposed to. So all these different networks need to solve
the scalability problem if they want to really have a lot of throughput, a lot
of transactions happening at the same time. Right now, if today, if you were to tell me
Bitcoin is going to have the same amount of transactions or needed to support the same amount
of transactions as Visa, it wouldn’t be feasible. It’d be too expensive to transact.
It’d be too slow. You can’t
wait five minutes to buy something. You can’t sit there and be like: you get
those 16 confirmations yet? Yeah they have like the bitcoin waiting area over to the
side and everyone is just corralled in there. It would be full. Oh your
transaction is complete. Number 135? Finally I can leave. 135? Yes, yes! I’m here, I’m here, I’m here. Surprisingly enough, living in a densely populated
metropolitan area like New York City does not actually translate
into more Bitcoin options. There are only a handful of restaurants
in New York that actually directly accept Bitcoin. Of that handful, three of those
restaurants are actually owned by the same French chef. So I’m at the La
Sirene right now, as you can see. I came in and all I did was I just
mentioned that I was going to pay with cryptocurrency. And the waiter went and got the chef. Chef came out. He gave
me this nice beer here. And he told me all about his Bitcoin process. Do you think that cryptocurrencies
will totally replace fiat currencies? It will, but not now.
But it will, definitely will. Now we’re talking about 30 years. Yes, 30 years. Everything is going to be a total, global
currency revolution in the next 30 years? Not saying it’s not going to get messy,
of course, but definitely crypto will replace fiat, it’s safer. And you can track if you want cash. That means if you don’t want to accept
your cryptocurrency because you want to be anonymous, it’s your problem. So what do you think is the
biggest obstacle for Bitcoin in the future. The big obstacle in the future, I think,
it’s the lobbies, of course, Federal Reserve, some banks. I’m not saying all, because Chase
Save is bad that they invest heavily, you know. And much more the problem of the
energy, they have to resolve the energy. That’s a future problem. That’s the only obstacle I can see. That doesn’t mean that we
put the Bitcoin totally down. No, it’s just not moving that much. That’s all. But they’ll find a solution. So here I am. And I’m about to pay
for my meal with Bitcoin. They have the iPad, so the tablet. And I’ve got my phone here
and I’m going to scan. There we go. So that pulls it up. And I’m going to confirm. And that’s that. So now we have this. It’s pending. And that is the process right there. So that will go through. Hey, excellent, look at that. How [email protected] cool is that, right? Yeah, I just paid
in a restaurant with Bitcoin. That’s it. As cool as that may be, eating
at a French bistro three times a day obviously isn’t a sustainable option. And given my inability to purchase groceries
with Bitcoin, I began looking for alternative options. My backup option is to go on eGifter. It was one of the retailers that is known to take
Bitcoin, and I want to see if I can buy some sort of gift card that
will let me purchase dinner tonight. We are going to open up eGifter. Buy with Bitcoin here. We’re here with the crypto and they’re like:
come up and give it to us. We want the crypto. I’m sure that
all bright, smart, intelligent people watching this video can clearly see the
limitations of e-gift cards. So I just eat Chipotle every night? Do I just get 2, do I just
save $10 and eat Chipotle every night? That sounds disgusting, but I mean, not
exactly the broadest range of views, right? Thankfully, I was going to have some time
to ponder these issues without the anxiety of actually having to deal with them. Here we are in an airport. Fortunately, there was a Dunkin Donuts and I still
have some money left in the gift card that I bought earlier with Bitcoin. I was headed down to Florida for a quick
visit with my family and more importantly, to try to explain Bitcoin to my grandfather. But at least I wasn’t going to
have to pay for any meals. Oh, there are a lot
of places that have Bitcoin. Correct. What do you know about Bitcoin? Not very much. I try to stay
away from it as much as possible. And here I had the brilliant idea of getting
my dad to try to explain Bitcoin to my grandfather. Not only would I get to see what
my father had learned, I would also get to see what my grandfather thought
about this little project. Would not consider myself to be an
expert or even especially knowledgeable about it. But what little I know is that this
is a new type of currency that’s not connected to any sovereign state. With Bitcoin, there is no bank involved. The transaction is only between
you and me directly. So there’s no way for a bank to control
or even know about what transaction, what we’re doing. Right. So it’s very decentralized and
there’s no central authority that is kind of watching. One of the big problems in
computer science is generating random numbers. What do you think? Like I’m still
going to stay away from it. Back in New York City, I found I
had the same obstacles as when I left. But this time I had a plan. So you’re probably wondering,
how did I survive? Oh, f#@k. That’s a lot of text, right there. Yeah, whatever. We don’t
care about this shit. There it is. Look at that. Life on Bitcoin just got easier. That are the truest words
I’ve ever seen written. Activate it. Load it. Spend it. Oh, yeah. There it is. The BitPay debit
card, my lifesaver and most blatant loophole. You transfer Bitcoins to the BitPay wallet,
exchange the Bitcoin into dollars directly to BitPay and then load the
dollars onto the card. Yes, I realize I’m not actually spending Bitcoin when
I swipe the card, but if I didn’t have a bank account and all my money was
in Bitcoin, then this would be a useful option for transforming my Bitcoin
into spendable currency. Either way, it was my saving. It actually doesn’t
work anywhere, everywhere. See that – decline. So that means, what does that,
what does that mean, mom? That mom will pay for a
very nice dinner you bought me. It’s pretty embarrassing. So that is like one
thing that’s going to be, that’s probably going to be really annoying is that I’m gonna
have to do two network transfers, one from Coinbase to BitPay and then one
from BitPay to the card. 2 network transactions. So I double the network fees. So if you’re in Europe, you can get a
Coinbase card, which pretty much does the same thing. Except it’s with Coinba… Regardless of the inefficiency, what really mattered was
that now I was able to finally buy some New York pizza. Hi, can I please have
two slices of the chicken? Thank you. Oh, yes. With the challenge coming to a close, I
wanted to get some outside perspectives on the trials and tribulations I had endured. And who better to ask than those who have
been closest to me throughout this journey – my parents. It’s been really interesting
watching you do this project. It’s also been a bit difficult to watch, because
I watch you go in with a lot of enthusiasm and do this and quickly get
discouraged when you are really hungry and couldn’t buy anything and couldn’t
figure out with Bitcoin. I see how stressful it’s been for
you to try and do this. You know, it’s a very
challenging kind of task. How do you even approach it? What do you do? To what extent can you
really live off with Bitcoin, what compromises you have to make? So, I’ve seen that’s a
stressful experience for you, but also a learning experience for a lot of
things you had to figure out. I think it’s been hard for you. Way, way back at the beginning of this video,
I named the two biggest questions of this challenge. Is it possible to
live exclusively off of Bitcoin? And what does it take to go fully digital? Simply put, at this point in time, Bitcoin
does not have enough purchasing power to bring it into the mainstream. It’s nearly impossible to live off
of Bitcoin without any third party involved. But I’m confident that in today’s
world of unstoppable and breakneck technological advancement, solutions will inevitably
and eventually be found. For everyone else who has a heart, soul
and maybe a few extra dollars to spare, keep your ears high, your nose to the ground,
because before you know it, you may be able to buy a lot more with Bitcoin than
just delicious, monstrously sized portion of the finest French fondue. Paid with Bitcoin. Easy as 1, 2, 3.


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