Holding up creative signs during ESPN’s “College GameDay,” has become a beloved college football tradition. ESPN recently did a piece examining the phenomenon, tracing it back to a random fan in the background of ESPN’s third-ever episode of College GameDay in 1994.
On Saturday, a day filled with instant classic college football contests, one student figured out a way to turn his sign into more than $26,000 worth of bitcoins.
The student, who has so far only been identified as by his Reddit username “BitcoinPitcher2,” held up a sign that read “HI MOM SEND” with the image of a bitcoin and a QR code. The sign made it front and center of the screen on ESPN and caught the interest of the bitcoin community who grabbed a shot, threw the image on Reddit and tested if the QR code would actually work.
It did, and directed people to a Blockchain bitcoin wallet where users could donate. Most of the donations came in small amounts, but more than 100 transactions have added to more than 23 bitcoins, which is worth more than $26,000 according to the current bitcoin exchange rate on Mt. Gox.
The identities of the donors are as anonymous as the recipient, due to the encrypted nature of bitcoin wallets, but the transactions themselves are public.
BitcoinPitcher2 told Reddit that the sign was originally thought of as a gag and didn’t even think the QR code would be scanable. BitcoinPitcher2 plans to give the donations over to Sean’s Outpost, a charity that accepts bitcoins.
The plan highlights one of the biggest advantages of bitcoin. There is no way a rational person would feel comfortable displaying the information necessary to send a cash or credit payment on national television. A QR code on the hand just takes other people directly to the bitcoin wallet and doesn’t reveal any information about the user, allowing for people like BitcoinPitcher2 to show it off without worry.