Why am I on the way to do a winter bike tour from Florence to Frankfurt?

2018 was, professionally, very intense for me. We, my team and I, decided to discontinue, at least for now, most of our projects at starwings, the startup I founded in 2016 to change the way organizations work. Even though, I know it had many reasons, it still came as a shock! I got into a state of mind which I had never experienced: not having a clue what comes next in my (entrepreneurial) life.

Since discovering the next step was neither easy nor clear, especially as my personal goal is to do what I believe is right for a future worth living for for humanity while earning a living doing it, I gave myself time to reflect and get to know myself better. I didn’t force any endeavor on myself but just waited and observed as to what would come to someone like myself who is curious and ambitious yet has suddenly, from one day to the next, nothing specific to work on.

One thing I knew for certain was that I wouldn’t allow the negative energy to spiral into depressed thoughts and pull me further down a dark hole. Seeing what could be awaiting me, I rather, adamantly decided to channel all that bottled up energy, both positive and negative, into doing what I knew best, sports. I used to cycle and race until 2006, something that I loved and what came naturally to me, so I started cycling again.

While cycling took up most of my physical energy, my mental energy still needed to be spent so I started to read more on topics I enjoyed like bitcoin and open blockchain. I have been a vocal bitcoin enthusiast since January 2013 but this year I learned even more about it. I must admit that the more I read the more it excites me because it strengthens my belief in the evolution of our current monetary system into a global, open, neutral, censorship-resistant and decentralized one. Today, I believe ever more strongly that this will have the most sustainable, liberating and humanitarian impact humanity has encountered. Decentralization of money and power is more exciting than most people give it credit.

And I know that bitcoin has suffered from its fair share of negative press many of which stem from good arguments such as large energy consumption and its use for illegal transactions, but I have carefully and informatively outweighed the costs and benefits and I believe the pros outweigh the cons by orders of magnitude.

Throughout the year, I started imagining myself playing a more active role in the bitcoin ecosystem and even earning bitcoin instead of Euro. The thought sounded ludicrous at first but then I thought why not?! I am, however, neither a developer, nor an educator, nor the type of business owner who can pay and get paid in bitcoin. So, I asked myself, what could I do to at least enhance the awareness and adoption rate of bitcoin. In other words, what would bitcoin do if it were a company (which obviously it is not!) to get more recognition and acceptance?

As a sports enthusiast, my immediate thought was that it would improve its image and adoption by increasing its PR and marketing activities through sponsorships of perhaps a sport team. It would probably also hire sales staff to convince other businesses to accept bitcoin, not to mention paying its own employees in this currency. All this to say, that I combine my two passions for sports and bitcoin and found a decentralized and sponsorship-based sports team called “team satoshi”, named after Satoshi (Nakamoto) obviously, the anonymous founder(s) of bitcoin.

I believe that if bitcoin were to play its role in the kind of world that I am imagining for humanity, it requires universal adoption. For this to become a reality, bitcoiners have a responsibility to spread not only the word but to also invest bitcoin itself in increasing its adoption and recognition through donations in PR activities, inviting nocoiners to join the community, and support those who have the skills to promote bitcoin like any other currency requiring education prior to adoption. I, for example, have been giving bitcoin as a gift for birthdays, Christmas and wedding presents in the hopes that it will intrigue nocoiners and the like.

As the 10th year anniversary of bitcoin, to many known as the Genesis block, approaches on January 3rd, it seemed as the perfect opportunity to use its celebration combined with the newly founded sports team, team satoshi, to raise awareness and adoption of bitcoin: a winter bike tour from Florence (the birthplace of modern banking) to Frankfurt (home to the European Central Bank (ECB)). The tour is called “Tour de Satoshi” and of course it starts on January 3rd!

The equipment (17,5 kg total weight)
It all fit. Except a few pieces of clothing and Andreas Antonopoulos’ book Mastering Bitcoin (too heavy and free digital version is enough :))

And as I sit in this very moment on the train to Florence, fully equipped and (hopefully) physically well prepared for the 10-day journey ahead, I hope that many of you will join me in magnifying the scale of this endeavor by liking and/or sharing this post and showing love on Twitter or Facebook. If you are a proud bitcoin owner, feel free to support me by donating bitcoin to the cause (wallet information below).

My full journey, Tour de Satoshi, can be tracked starting tomorrow at 9:00am, from the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence to the ECB in Frankfurt.

This 1000 km long and 10,000 meters in altitude tour through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany with the unpredictable (expected up to -15 degree Celcius (5 degree Fahrenheit)) winter weather through the Alps is not what intimidates me. The biggest challenge will be to convince someone in each and every town that I stop in to rest, to give me a room and dinner in return for bitcoin.

It goes without saying that anyone crazy enough to join me is invited to join in!

If all goes to plan, my expected arrival time in Frankfurt will be on January 12th around 4:30 to 5:00pm in front of the ECB. I hope that it will be welcomed with enthusiasts joining for a get-together for bitcoin’s 10 year anniversary celebration. Feel free to join and bring an own reception drink, if you fancy!

For donations, here’s my btc (segwit) wallet address:

bc1q87jy2c28snel5tj3c5q94fdfuy9xwhl0ljlysn

And my btc (legacy) wallet address:

1P3UwoDLhqJZbkYiZuKQZrmZvbB2GssLB

Here you find the detailed journey plan for each day of Tour de Satoshi:

Jan 3rd Florence — Sassuolo: 143 km 2320 m altitude

Jan 4th Sassuolo — Cremona: 107 km 200 m altitude

Jan 5th Cremona — Chiavenna: 177 km 1060 m altitude

Jan 6th Chiavenna — Chur: 92 km 2210 m altitude

Jan 7th Chur — Vaduz: 39 km 30 m altitude

Jan 8th Vaduz — Bregenz: 52 km 30 m altitude

Jan 9th Bregenz — Riedlingen: 94 km 690 m altitude

Jan 10th Riedlingen — Stuttgart: 94 km 1110 m altitude

Jan 11th Stuttgart — Heidelberg: 95km 1020 m altitude

Jan 12th Heidelberg — Frankfurt: 91 km 330 m altitude

Thank you for your support and see you on the flip side.

Peace.

Vitus

#bitcoin #teamsatoshi #TourdeSatoshi