Since then, the series has gone on to produce four episodes with between 18 and 19 BTC given away to participants to date.
“Take My Bitcoins” is sponsored by ButterflyLabs, and uses bitcoins generated by the show’s in-house mining rig for prizes. ButterflyLabs also contributes to each show’s prize purse, which averages 4 BTC per show.
Creator, host and executive producer Mike Rotman told CoinDesk that one of the major successes of the show has been the opportunity to educate those unfamiliar with bitcoin about the concept of digital currencies.
“It’s a great fan base that’s building, which is why I love the bitcoin community. You know, they’re really into it, they’re really supportive, they want to help they show [and] they want to win bitcoins each week.”
A game show for bitcoin
“Take My Bitcoins” leverages social media, particularly Twitter, as well as an online chat room, to pool contestants for the show. Social media is also used to field questions for certain segments, such as a game involving the use of hashtags to create jokes in a bid to win bitcoins.
Another segment called “This Or That” gives contestants the chance to accrue bitcoin winnings for correctly identifying which of two categories the given word or phrase belongs to – in the most recent episode, a contestant had to choose if a word was a dictator or a cookie.
Over the course of the week, “Take My Bitcoins” accepts guesses via Twitter for how many bitcoins the in-house mining rig can produce between episodes. Whoever comes closest wins a percentage of that week’s earnings.
Entertainment as an education tool
Rotman looks at the show as a vehicle for bringing information about bitcoin to who don’t know too much about it. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for people to learn how to use and spend bitcoins.
“There’s no hardcore bitcoin questions – it’s not that kind of show. The whole point of the show is: give away bitcoin to everybody, and then explain what they can do with it.
The entertainment aspects of the show, he said, are a good way to get people more comfortable with the idea of bitcoin who might otherwise be daunted by the technological aspects of digital currency.
“Take My Bitcoins” can be seen on Thursdays at 8 p.m. PST on the program’s official website.
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