Seven kickboxers from around Europe competed in the first Bitcoin Fight Night on Saturday, 5th April.
Held at the iconic O2 Arena in London, a prize of bitcoin worth £5,000 was on offer to the tournament victor.
Before the actual tournament kicked off, six fighters competed in the warm-up rounds, including two female combatants.
Sweden-based Meran Zangana was the big winner of the event, scooping the digital currency prize as his reward for beating the UK’s Kevin Ward in the final fight of the night.
With over 700 tickets sold, the tournament was the biggest UK-based bitcoin event yet.
Organiser Patrick Carroll explained that the idea for the Bitcoin Fight Night came about while attending a meetup group run by CoinScrum in central London.
While the indigO2 arena in the O2 was packed on the night, not everyone was there to support cryptocurrencies – the audience was a mix of bitcoin enthusiasts and kickboxing fans.
The die-hard fight crowd were there to cheer for their favourite fighters, and many bitcoiners came for a special interval act – a staged fight between broadcaster and proponent of digital currencies Max Keiser and ‘The Bankster’ represented by a trained kickboxer.
Keiser’s crowdfunding venture StartJOIN was co-sponsoring the event. He explains how he got involved:
“The kickboxing and bitcoin guys came to StartJOIN and they said ‘we want to put the project on StartJOIN’, which is a crowdfunding site. We immediately got involved and then they said, ‘why not have Max come along?’ So I reluctantly agreed to do this.”
Maxcoin defeats paper money
Prior to the fight, he told CoinDesk about his plans: “I come out and we are going to have a little match with somebody representing paper money and the banking cartel – the evil, the true evil in this world.”
“Unlike some of these markets, like JP Morgan’s activities or Goldman Sachs, which are entirely rigged, this is only partially rigged.”
During the interval of the tournament, Keiser took to the ring and the gloves came off, literally. However, no real blows were exchanged. Some intense yelling seemed to intimidate his opponent and, as a final blow, Keiser flashed his MaxCoin T-shirt. ‘The Bankster’ immediately fell to the floor.
Keiser explains why he thought this interval act was more than just a gimmick:
“The fight in this arena is a good metaphor for what’s happening in the geopolitical front. Countries are now on a war footing. The battle is heating up. People are looking to preserve wealth and they will naturally go to bitcoin gold and silver.”
He also had some predictions for bitcoin:
“Metaphorically, bitcoin is the hero in the new currency arena and I think it will dominate the currency trading going forward. I think it will capture a significant part of the FOREX market. I think price will rebound in 2014 and hit an all-time high.”
Before the Bitcoin Fight Night, a panel discussion on the topic ‘How Can Bitcoin Fight Back Against the Hackers’ took place at the venue, chaired by Chris Ellis, the co-founder of feathercoin.
Both events were sponsored by Firestartr.co, which provides seed-stage capital and aids startups in their early stages.