Bitcoin made its debut appearance at the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500, the largest single-day sporting event in the world. IndyCar Series driver and team owner Ed Carpenter dressed his Chevrolet-powered Dallara in an eye-catching Bitcoin-themed livery, and eventually crossed the line in eighth place.
P8 in my second #Indy500. Led 32 laps and was right in contention to win the race. A few unfortunate moments on the last pit cycle sent us back down the field. After all, awesome month of May and really proud at everyone @ecrindy, the #Bitcoin car was insanely fast! pic.twitter.com/L9uzIx9XfU
— Rinus VeeKay (@rinusveekay) May 30, 2021
“To bring my personal interest and immersion in Bitcoin to our industry is historic,” Carpenter said in early May “… I see it as an opportunity to transform how we operate within our own motorsport industry.”
Motorsport is notoriously expensive, and as a result, very difficult to enter. Yet, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can be an innovative way to drive change, said Carpenter.
“We’re a sponsorship-driven industry and it’s getting harder to compete in the space with other race teams, with other marketers with other sports properties,” he told AutoWeek. “I’ve been getting involved with this, and I see a lot of opportunity to change the way we do business.”
Making history, the No. 21 car was the first to run a decentralised sponsorship in the series. Throughout the month of May, payments app Strike raised funds for the team, allowing them to participate in the event.