Dogecoin helps Jamaican bobsleigh team

Posted by Josh Conibear in Personal Finance on 24 January 2014 - Josh worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2014

”Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its (Jamaican) bobsled time!”

The Dogecoin Foundation has helped Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon, a two-man Jamaican bobsleigh team, to travel and compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by encouraging their users to raise more than $30,000 worth of Dogecoin in sponsorship.

The pair qualified for the iconic competition on Saturday, but told the BBC that they would need fresh funding to cover travel and equipment costs. “We need about $40,000 for travel and also to buy new runners for the sled because we can’t go to an Olympics with only one set,” bobsleigh driver Winston Watts said.

Dogecoin is a crypto-currency, based on a combination of Bitcoin, the popular digital money, and Doge, the internet meme that superimposes broken English written in Comic Sans onto pictures of Shiba Inu dogs.

Liam Butler, who runs the Dogecoin Foundation, says, "As someone who grew up in the 90's, Cool Runnings was the ultimate feel good movie about underdogs out of their element achieving their dreams".

Butler launched Dogesled, aiming to raise some of the money required to send Watts and Dixon to Sochi. "We started without a concrete plan in mind. I sent a few emails out… but that was the extent of it”. But within a few hours, the fundraiser had collected just over 26m Dogecoins.

So many people have been donating, in fact, that they seemed to raise the price of the currency itself; in 12 hours, the Dogecoin to Bitcoin exchange rate rose by 50%.

Due to Dogecoin’s potential for major fluctuations in its price (along with the fact that you can’t buy bobsled equipment with Dogecoin), 26 million in Dogecoin has already been converted to Bitcoin, which “will be passed on to the Jamaican bobsled team” .

Another 550,000 Dogecoins (about £500) have been donated since the first batch of money was converted to Bitcoin.

While the Dogecoin community appears genuinely interested in helping the Jamaican athletes, it also sees its giving as a way to more exposure for its beloved Dogecoin.

One way or another, it seems likely that Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon will be heading to Sochi to compete in the games this year.

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