Crowdfunding using Dogecoin sends Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi
The value of the tongue-in-cheek digital currency Dogecoin has skyrocketed after an Olympics fund raising campaign for the Jamaican bobsleigh team announced it would accept Dogecoins.
The Jamaican team – whose previous Olympic efforts inspired Disney’s Cool Runnings – has qualified for next month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The Jamaican Olympic Association and organisers of Sochi 2014 have agreed to fund travel and some other costs, but brakeman Marvin Dixon and driver Winston Watts (the latter of whom funds the team from his personal savings) say they need more money for equipment such as jackets and a second pair of runners for the sled.
They appealed for funding via PayPal on their official website, but their cause has been championed by the online community, including users of Reddit and the creators of a Crowdtilt crowdfunding campaign, which has become the official fundraiser for the team.
The effort is being labelled as ‘Cool Runnings 2’, in reference to the 1993 Disney movie which documented the Jamaican team’s first Olympic Games in 1988, and it is the fondness for this film which inspired Dogecoin Foundation member Liam Butler to ask for donations using the currency.
In excess of $25,000 worth of Dogecoins have been donated to the campaign, which has raised almost $130,000 – more than its initial $80,000 target. This has more than doubled the value of Dogecoin as more users trade in the currency, increasing the total value of coins in circulation to $58,752,306.
However it remains only the seventh largest digital currency by value, with each coin worth just $0.0017, significantly less than Bitcoin, which is worth $ 855.97 per unit, contributing to a market cap of $ 10,525,092,717.
The success of the campaign has led Crowdtilt to end its fundraising efforts as the team now has enough money to compete in Sochi in just over two weeks’ time.
Cool Runnings 2
“I am happy to report that because of your generosity, we have reached our target much sooner than we anticipated,” says Devon Harris, who competed for the team in 1988. “As some of you may have already heard in the press, once we are ready to travel to Sochi, the Jamaica Olympic Association will cover the team’s airfare and the Sochi Olympic Committee, as they do for every athlete from every country, will cover our stay in the Olympic Village.”
“We are grateful for your overwhelming show of support. The monies you donated will be used to cover training expenses (food, board, traveling, track fees, etc), and equipment purchases as the team completes its final preparation for the Games. Funds will also be earmarked to ship the sled and related equipment to Russia.”
Harris has invited anyone who is still interested in supporting the team to make a donation for its long term future on its official website.
“We look forward to your continued support as we push forward to Sochi and beyond,” he adds.