Traveling to a new country goes beyond purchasing a plane ticket and booking a hotel room. A traveler visiting a new city outside of their own country have to do a significant amount of research, no matter the reason for their visit. The traveler should learn what type of culture they can expect to experience, the common spoken language of the country, and, arguably one of the biggest things to learn, what type of currency the country uses and how it converts to theirs. This means a traveler must know about the country’s currency exchange rate and they should start estimating how much they plan to spend during their visit.
Thus, many veteran travelers have found using cryptocurrency while abroad makes their lives immensely easier. When they use Bitcoin or Ethereum in a foreign country, they don’t have to watch the country’s exchange rate as closely and avoid having to pay their bank’s high fees of withdrawing money from their account.
Before cryptocurrency those who frequently toured the world for business had to spend a lot more time financially preparing for a trip. International travelers would observe a country’s exchange rate as if they were watching the local news network to get the weather. Prior to taking off for the airport, it was a good practice to ensure they had enough of a foreign country’s currency on hand to buy what they needed when they arrived.
Though, some travelers still have to use their debit card at their bank’s ATM to grab cash and banks do not make these exchanges easy. While in a foreign country, someone making a withdrawal could find themselves paying an additional $15 to $20 in fees in order to carry enough cash to last a few more days. These fees stack up quickly. If a traveler doesn’t plan their trip effectively enough they can find themselves paying hundreds of dollars just to pull money out of their account.
Plus, when a customer pays with cryptocurrency they have the added bonus of knowing their information is protected through a blockchain network. Why worry about the added security? Not all retailers around the world reliably protect their customer’s card information. If a traveler uses their debit card with a small retailer for a quick item, they may find themselves on the phone with their bank the next day discussing the obviously fraudulent use of their account.
Banks can easily have these funds returned to the traveler’s account, but it takes several days. This also results in the traveler having their compromised debit card turned off, receiving a new one through mail in a few days, and getting stuck in a foreign country without a reliable way to use money outside of physical cash. This wait time doesn’t happen with digital currency and this type of fraud rarely occurs.
These advantages reflect why frequent travelers have chosen to invest in cryptocurrency and why they use it throughout their trip. Though, travelers could easily run into the problem of retailers not accepting their digital currency as a payment. Businesses may not have welcomed digital currencies due to the violitality of their market value.
The problem of unreliability was more widespread years ago when everyone was still attempting to understand the concept of cryptocurrency. While this violitatily still happens, more digital currencies have started hitting all-time highs regularly and have steadily developed a reliable frequency. Now, with Bitcoin’s worth hitting above five-digits in market value more industries have developed initiatives to accept digital currencies in their transactions.
Veteran travelers were still well ahead of everyone and the travel industry supported their decision. Back in 2013, when Bitcoin was not as popular, airlines and travel agencies were already accepting Bitcoin as a payment method on their websites. However, if someone wished to buy a ticket with Bitcoin they had to act quickly. The travel websites had to build in a timer to prevent customers from sitting on a ticket and waiting to purchase it when the erratic market value of Bitcoin got to a point where they were able to save money. The airlines started this trend first, and only now have airports begun to follow suit.
In January Brisbane Airport in Australia announced their partnership with local firm TravelbyBit, a company who helps businesses accept cryptocurrencies. The partnership will have TravelbyBit creating a new payment system at the Brisbane airport granting every retailer in the establishment the ability to accept a variety of cryptocurrencies at their store. This partnership marks Brisbane Airport as the first international terminal to openly accept cryptocurrency and highlights the need for more airports to do the same.
TravelbyBit does not plan to stop at the Brisbane Airport. The company already plans to reach out to other businesses international travelers tend to visit, such as hotels and restaurants, to work with them on developing similar payment methods. Currently, over 20 businesses in the area have partnered with TravelbyBit to welcome digital currencies as a payment. This number will continue to grow and travelers will find it a gratifying change to purchase a hotel room using their cryptocurrency of choice.
These partnerships provide a small glimpse into the potential future of what direction everyone can expect digital currency to go on the international market in the next decade. When local businesses start to accept these payments, larger establishments will inevitably follow them as to not lag behind and provide travelers with as many choices as possible during their trip.
As time goes by more airports and businesses operating in cities with high international traffic will have to prepare for customers coming in and wanting to pay for a service using a digital currency. The technology doesn’t have to come internally and a company doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Retailers have access to getting services such as Bitcoin and Coinbase working in their store. Though, local business partners like TravelbyBit will play an important role in welcoming currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum at smaller establishments interested in accepting a variety of digital currencies.