From thumbs-ups from friendly strangers to midnight police raids, a bitcoin-themed van goes on a whirlwind tour of Europe.
Ariel Aguilar has been driving Bitcoin (BTC) promotional efforts across Europe in a BTC-themed van called La Bitcoineta. In an interview with Cointelegraph reporter Joe Hall at the Plan B summer school, the Argentinian Bitcoin supporter recalled the highs and lows of his journey across nearly a dozen European countries.
Part of La Bitcoineta’s journey was from Serbia to Lugano, which involved a border transition between Bosnia and Croatia. Aguilar waited until midnight to cross the border, drawing suspicion from border and customs officials.
After an initial check at the border, the van was stopped ten minutes later by an unmarked vehicle with five plainclothes officers on board. The Bitcoin enthusiast said:
“They said, ‘We’re the police; we’ve got to search your vehicle. I think they probably thought we were people smuggling.'”
Aguilar was again allowed to continue on to Lugano, and he noted humorously that he avoided “bribing” an official who had discovered Aguilar’s copy. bitcoin standarda book by BTC proponent and economist Saifedean Ammous:
“I don’t know if he wanted it, but I didn’t give it to him as a gift just in case it was considered a bribe.”
Other parts of the journey yielded more positive experiences. Aguilar emphasized that strangers in Switzerland gave a thumbs up when they saw La Bitcoineta drive by. Meanwhile, people in crypto-friendly jurisdictions like Spain and Portugal appear to be oblivious to the van’s presence.
La Bitcoineta has traveled from Spain to Gibraltar, Portugal, Andorra, Switzerland, Munich, Prague, Oslo, Romania, Serbia and Lugano.
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The journey will continue to Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. A trip to the UK is planned for September, then Madrid, Amsterdam and Luana, finishing the journey in Lugano.
Aguilar said next year’s trip will likely include longer trips to different countries to gauge varying degrees of bitcoin adoption.
“Let’s say we do Germany and we do France. The idea is to interview a French bitcoiner and see if he’s not a shitcoin creator, right? If he’s really a bitcoiner.”
This will involve allowing Bitcoin advocates from different countries to participate in La Bitcoineta talks and presentations on the topic.
— RŌNIN (@ronin21btc) June 10, 2023
The van has also received a lot of attention. After Aguilar gave the MicroStrategy CEO a tour of the van at a conference, La Bitcoineta, along with Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor, spawned a famous meme:
“He loved it, especially the big ‘Bitcoin is Hope’ lettering on the side of the van. He took a picture and uploaded it on his Instagram.”
As for the photo, Aguilar said his photographer was the source of Saylor’s meme-worthy look:
“He was filming and not taking pictures, so he took too long, and that’s when Seiler showed the angry look in the meme.”
La Bitcoineta is also covered in autographs of influential Bitcoin figures such as Adam Back, Ammous, Prince Philip of Serbia, Jack Mallers, Elizabeth Stark, and other “OG Bitcoin enthusiasts” who leave their cars on board for future generations. Downloaded the information.
This interview is part of an upcoming Cointelegraph documentary about what it’s like to attend Bitcoin school. Subscribe here (https://www.youtube.com/@cointelegraph) to watch.
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