Dash Blockchain Becomes First Cryptocurrency in History To Sponsor A Circus
As part of the Dash DAO, I’m always educating myself on the various proposals that come into the Dash ecosystem. The most surprising proposal yet, has just arrived and planted itself firmly inside of Dash Nation and guess what, it’s a circus! This might be the very first time in history a cryptocurrency has sponsored a circus. Is Dash going to be the Red Bull of cryptocurrencies? It kind of looks that way, with the addition of Circus City.
Circus City is a biennial festival of circus in Bristol, UK, that
runs for several weeks in October. It aims to bring exciting and innovative performances to the city, to showcase work by Bristol and UK artists, support the UK circus touring circuit and to inspire the circus community. -Circus City
“Circus City 2017 is proposing that Dash becomes the sole Commercial Sponsor of Circus City 2017, becoming the first blockchain to sponsor a major cultural and artistic event in the UK.”
I had a chance to interview Edward Rapley about his involvement with cryptocurrencies and the world of circus performance. From his website, we learn that he defines himself as a:
“Performer, Director, Cultural Activist, Fool, Clown and Self-Proclaimed Genius.”
Stellabelle: How did you find Dash?
Edward: I’m someone who owned several hundred bitcoins in 2011, I got them at $3 and sold them at $4 and purchased silver. I felt like a financial genius! We all know how that trade played out. Having regretted it ever since, I chose to ignore crypto, it was just too painful to look at how big a mistake I had made.
Luckily for me earlier this year a friend in the US owed me some money and he offered to pay me back in Bitcoin. I leapt at the chance and that was how I got back into crypto in general, from there I went looking at all the new blockchains that had sprung up. The truth is that I didn’t understand anything in 2011 but by 2017 I had educated myself, and I was ready to get involved.
I got into Dash and read through the forums, the wiki, the Reddit pages and I could see that here was a project that had all the elements needed to be successful. Technically the most important aspects are the services provided by masternodes, the governance and budget system. But the biggest asset is actually the community around the currency. Elsewhere I found competition and trolling, but in Dash I found cooperation, collaboration and a generous gift economy where people give their time to help each other. Those are the defining characteristics of a functional community.
S: Can you explain what kind of circus you’re in?
E: I’m going to disappoint you here. I’m not in a circus. I have trained as a clown with Philippe Gaulier, who is one of the world’s great teachers but I use that training in my work as a performer and director, working mostly in theatres. I have a lot of friends who work in circus arts as performers, teachers, and producers. This includes Lina B. Frank who is the co-director of Circus City so it was great to bring these two things together: crypto and circus.
S: How did you get your start in performance?
E: I had always dreamt of being an actor, I just never told anyone or did anything about it. Finally at the age of 24 I decided to try some static trapeze classes and my life as an artist opened up from there. I moved from circus towards performance art and then into theatre and right now my favourite way of working is fooling which I learned from Holly Stoppit. It’s a form of improvisation where you walk on stage with no idea what you will do. All you have to play with is your connection to yourself and the audience. It’s based on playful awareness and creates incredible moments of beauty. You can read about it here.
S: What made you think that the Dash Treasury would fund a circus?
E: It was a lightning bolt of inspiration, it was instantly clear to me that Dash would be a solution to the international circus community, people who might be in 4 countries in a week. I could also see that Dash had reached the point where it was ready for mass adoption, all that needs to happen is to put wallets in people’s hands, put Dash in those wallets and watch them go with just a little bit of hand holding and explanation.
My practice as a community organizer involves bringing people together for projects and I knew that Dash and Circus City would work well together. I’ve been proven right so far and it’s just the beginning, there is so much excitement around this sponsorship. People who knew nothing of Dash a month ago were refreshing dashvotetracker.com every 5 minutes on the final day.
S: Do circus people already use cryptocurrency?
E: Yes, in fact the only people who I knew back in 2011 who used Bitcoin were circus performers. Both of them did street performance and after a week they would have kilos of coins from the country they were in and that is useless in so many ways. So they would find a way to exchange it for bitcoin and then move on to the next country.
S: What are the similarities between cryptocurrency and the circus life?
E: Borders are meaningless, that is a common feature. Artists go wherever their shows them, wherever that is in the world. In the circus, people are always looking to get better, they practice and train, they learn new skills and they share them with the world. In a way, that is what Dash is doing. The core team and community are working every day to make Dash better.
The circus is also driven and sustained by a strong community. It’s people that drive projects forward, people who are passionate about what they do and give their energy to it. This is exactly what I’ve found in the Dash Nation slack channels and that’s something everyone involved can feel proud of.
S: Where can people learn more about you and the projects you support?
E: You can find me on Dash Nation Slack as @syntheist or through my website: http://www.edwardrapley.co.uk/
Stay tuned to see how Dash and Circus City will be integrated in October 2017 when Circus City opens.