PROVO — Can a soon-to-be married couple live their first 90 days of wedded bliss using virtual currency?
That's what Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham want to find out. The Provo couple is doing a social experiment with cryptocurrency and filming their "Life on Bitcoin" for a documentary.
"I'm always up for an adventure, and we're starting off our lives together," Bingham said. "Why not start out doing something different and unique?"
Bitcoin is the first decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency. It was introduced on the Web in 2009. Bitcoins are kept in an online wallet. As of Monday afternoon, one bitcoin was worth $104, but the value fluctuates.
"The idea is to push the outer limits of what's possible with bitcoins," Craig said. "A lot of what this documentary is going to be is us figuring it out and having a camera along with us."
They put together a video for their kickstarter page, where they are raising money for the documentary. But for their furniture, rent, groceries, travel, gas, restaurants and even medical expenses, they can only use bitcoins.
"There's no bill, and there's no card for it," Craig said. "It's all online. It's all digital."
One of the main hurdles they'll have is paying rent.
"We are going to talk to our landlord," Bingham said. "We are going to call him up and tell him what we're doing and see if he'll take Bitcoin."
Her employer has agreed to pay her in bitcoins, but now they need to find companies and stores that will accept them.
They know most transactions will take some negotiation.
"It's going to be talking to people, explaining how Bitcoin works, why it's beneficial, and persuading them that we can do this and it will be very painless for you," Craig said.
Once they figure out how to pay for rent, furniture and groceries, they plan to take a road trip. They'll try to find a cheap but reliable car, pay for gas, find car insurance and hopefully stay in hotels.Comment on this story
They'd also like to travel to another country where businesses have shown support for Bitcoin. That will require them to find a travel agency or airline that will take bitcoins.
The experiment will start when they come back from their honeymoon on July 27. They invite people to follow their journey on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and their blog at lifeonbitcoin.com.
"How usable is this new digital currency? We want to find out," Craig said.