Last updated on April 21st, 2015 at 04:20 pm
A Texas family of four is putting the Bitcoin ecosystem to the test by traveling down the Eastern seaboard of the United States using only bitcoin to pay their expenses.
John Bush, Catherine Bleish and their two children, ages 3 and 2 – the self-styled “Blush” family – are hosting educational Bitcoin events in New Hampshire, New York City, Asheville, NC, Pensacola, FL, and Houston as they drive back home in the Bitcoin Bus, a school bus turned RV.
“We want to work out the kinks from the system so that people new to Bitcoin don’t meet with hardship when they use it for the first time,” said Bush.
The family’s “Uncoinventional Bitcoin Bus Tour” is their third cross-country trip funded exclusively by bitcoin in the last two years.
“When we travel on bitcoin,” said Bleish, “we inspire others to spend theirs, we introduce new people to the currency, and we help bitcoin merchants overcome glitches in their systems. This strengthens the network for us all.”
The tour has already met with some “pain-in-the-neck moments,” said Bush while driving in New Hampshire, including lost hotel reservations and a failed gift card. “We are willing to inconvenience ourselves because we believe so strongly in the technology and the potential it has,” he said.
The “Blush” family is using Bitcoin services such as CheapAir.com for airplane tickets, the WageCan bitcoin debit card, the Airbitz mobile wallet and Bitcoin directory as well as the Gyft gift card service.
There are benefits to using bitcoin when traveling, Bush says. “The problem with using credit cards and debit cards is that you have to give up your address and social security number with your bank accounts and these can be hacked and people’s identities can be stolen and have their money taken. In order to set up a Bitcoin account, you don’t have to give any personally identifiable information, whatsoever.”
Purchasing gas presents a unique challenge for the roving family. “The tools have changed and it’s constantly evolving,” Bush said. A service they used on a previous tour went out of business but he is relying on the WageCan bitcoin debit card for gas purchases this time around.
The couple started using Bitcoin for political and privacy reasons but Bush had a “eureka moment” when he realized how much cheaper and easier to use Bitcoin was when compared to Western Union.
Get more information about the tour, including the schedule of meetups, at uncoinventional.com.