College kid raises over USD20,000 via a Bitcoin sign on a televised game by ESPN

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 03, 2013 03:18 AM EST

A footage picked up by ESPN's College Gameday yesterday saw one fan holding a sign that read "Hi Mom send Bitcoin," using the Bitcoin symbol and a Quick Response (QR) Code for a virtual currency address. A QR code is a matrix or a two-dimensional barcode that contains information attached to the item that can be extracted via optical machines.

The fan identified himself on popular social news and entertainment website Reddit as BItcoinPitcher2 said he was not sure that the code would work and expected only a few people would take interest in his sign. A brief check by tech news site The Verge on the address revealed however, that the fan was able to obtain 22.4 bitcoins in the virtual wallet, which converted to US dollars is around USD22,000.

According to BitcoinPitcher2, he intends to donate majority of the money he amassed from the television stunt to Sean's Outpost, a Bitcoin charity geared to help the homeless people in Pensacola, Florida.

Some Reddit users saw good things about the Bitcoin stunt, with one highlighting the virtues of virtual currency. The Reddit commentor said, "This is a chance for us to basically buy coverage on television! If we each send him a little ... then some producer or writer is very likely to follow up with a story about the kid and how easy it was for people worldwide to send him money with just an onscreen flash of a QR code. This could lead to more kids doing the same at other games and so forth."

Others on Reddit saw the bad side of hoarding crypto-currencies like the Bitcoin. Business newsmagazine The Economist said the rise of Bitcoin was attributed to its increasing role in dodgy online markets. Despite gaining popularity in online marketplaces and venues including OkCupid, Reddit, WordPress, and Chinese Internet giant Baidu, the use of the virtual currency in the retail and commercial marketplace is minimal as of November of this year, The Atlantic Wire said in its report.

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