by Lori Brown
There is a new, rising trend in the outskirts of Bitcoin communities, and it has a more charitable spirit than what you might usually read about bitcoin. At Bitvest.io, a bitcoin gaming and investment site, there is a group of people who participated in a remarkable contest during the first week of February.
The group is a mix of personalities all known by their chat room identities. The leader of the group or the assumed owner of the website who goes by the pseudonym "Lightlord" runs a promotional lottery at various, random parts of the day. On February 6, the chat room was interrupted by an announcement by an account named "Promo." Promo is rumored to be a chatbot, and it is allegedly controlled by the site owner known as "Lightlord," and sometimes it is controlled by the site developer/in-house technology guy, known only as "Zodiac."
Bitvest's Bitcoin-driven Social Experiment
"Promo" announced to the chat room on February 6 that there would be a Social Experiment. The users were given a list of very specific items of food to get at the store, and the first users to return with a photo of the foods along with a handwritten note would be the winners of prizes that amounted to a substantial amount of bitcoin.
Each contestant was asked the question "What would you do for bitcoin?” Users were told to get exactly two bananas, one apple, one can of cola, and to take a photo of the items with the receipt, while at the store, and the receipt needed a handwritten note professing the user’s love for Bitvest.io. The psychological effects of the race had already begun to take place. Users could be seen in the chat jokingly trying to discourage the group from competing at all.
One by one the contestants started to post photos of their loot, trying to claim the bitcoin prizes. Each time, the account known as "Promo" along with the various users would pick apart the photo, pointing out the missing details that would disqualify that image from being a winner. Several denials were made from attempts to claim the prizes. One picture showed a single banana rather than the required two. Another denial occurred because the image was not taken in an open store setting as required.
A Good Deed Done in the Scramble for Some Bits...
Husbands and wives were seen "yelling" (or chatting in all CAPS) at one another in the midst of the stress of trying to beat the contestants to the winnings. Although the contest was seemingly pointless, it was interesting to witness the lengths to which people will go without question, to get a prize paid in bitcoin.
As the contest drew to an end, "Promo" announced a final part in the day’s strange challenge; the users were told to donate the few items they had collected to a hungry, or homeless person. The first to report back that the heart-warming deed was accomplished would be awarded a final prize in bitcoin.
It is an excellent way to show how skewed our priorities are, at times. How quickly would you scramble to feed another fellow human? How about if a great prize was promised? It is a humbling experience to participate in an unusual game, only to alter the path of a homeless man with a small meal a few minutes later.
Challenges such as this one are a regular part of the Bitvest daily events. The goal is to keep the site users engaged and to keep giving back in some way. Bitcoin somehow has a bad reputation in the mainstream media, and Bitvest is challenging bitcoin users everywhere to do something GOOD with their bitcoin stash. Perhaps this is how you build a good reputation.