Couple tests relationship with bitcoin

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Austin Craig
Courtesy image/Austin Craig
Beccy and Austin Craig spent the first 90 days of their marriage using bitcoin as currency.

After the wedding cake has gone stale and you’ve stored away all the gifts into the cupboard to never be used again, what are you to do?

Congratulations! You and your spouse are set to embark on the wonderful journey called married life.

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. You’re often faced with many defining moments in those audacious 365 days. However, for Beccy and Austin Craig, they decided to up the stakes by vowing to only use bitcoin, a digital currency, for the first 90 days of their marriage.

Perhaps you’ve read about it in a news article or in heard about it in films such as last year’s Dope, but bitcoin is a new kind of money that is created and held electronically. No one controls it and it isn’t printed like dollars or euros.

If you’re still a little unsure of what it is, you needn’t worry. There’s a great documentary titled Life on Bitcoin that’s holding its regional premiere at Denton’s Thin Line film festival on Feb. 19.

The film goes into great detail of what the technology presents, the characteristics and benefits of using it and how it shaped the lives of our two subjects, Beccy and Austin.

“We learned a lot about our relationship during the experiment,”Austin said. “When I was on the verge of losing my mind, Beccy was immediately there to be the levelheaded support, and I tried to do the same in return. We hadn’t done something so challenging until that point in our relationship, so it was interesting to see that emerge.”

The challenge of using bitcoin is the fact it is so obscure. There are not many businesses, grocery stores or gas stations that are familiar with the asset, especially if you live in a small city like Denton or the Craigs’ hometown of Provo, Utah.

Launching into this project was a way for the couple to become involved with bitcoin.

“It didn’t involve us becoming programmers, cryptographers or economists. I lack the technological knowledge that is required,” said Austin. “I thought by us doing this film it could bring unique value to the bitcoin community and make people aware of its value.”

Documenting your first three months as a newly married couple may not sound like the most appealing idea. However, the Craigs became accustomed to the concept of a camera crew.

“We knew the people filming us were going to become a big part of our lives,” said Beccy. “During the planning stages, I didn’t think too much about it because I was planning our wedding. Even though it was difficult at times during the experiment, it wasn’t too scary. I’m not afraid of a baptism-by-fire scenario. I am always up for learning and figuring out new things.”

While learning more about their relationship, they also learned more about life in general.

“We learned more about the community. We live in a small town, and we thought after we traveled to a bigger city like New York, there would be a ton of bitcoin people there,” said Austin. “When we got to New York in 2013, when we filmed this, it was not the case. There were not hundreds of thousands of diehard bitcoiners.”

Bitcoin was founded almost a decade ago, yet many still don’t know about it.

“My hopeful outcome of the movie is that more people will learn about the technology through our experience,” said Beccy. “It’s really this far out thing until you really start to research it. Then, it begins to make sense.”

“I think bitcoin presents a totally new, potential opportunity for people to do business in a way that’s more free and open,” said Austin. “However the real question is, how quickly can it roll out?”

Only time will tell.

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