When Bitcoin first burst onto the scene in 2009, naysayers chalked it up to little more than a fad. However, over time, more users (and organizations) grew to recognize the power of this digital coin. By the time competing cryptocurrencies emerged in 2011, more began to recognize and accept the potential investment value of digital currencies.
Since then we have watched, with great interest, the rise and fall of the coin’s valuation. During the months when valuation skyrockets early adopters are lauded; however when the coin falls in dramatic fashion, it unleashes an outpouring of renewed skepticism.
Over the past year, many consumers have begun to accept that these cryptocurrencies could very well pave the way for the future of investments. After all, everyone knows at least someone who took a gamble on the coin and walked away with a profit.
But throughout their lifespans, Bitcoin and other altcoins have always been viewed as more media fodder than everyday financial solutions. In other words, using these coins as actual currencies to facilitate day to day transactions has been out of reach for most of the public.
However, that is all changing — and fast. More merchants across industries are empowering customers to pay with their digital tokens. While these financially progressive merchants are still the minority, more global consumers are taking an interest in using cryptocurrencies as currencies, and there is a strong possibility that cryptocurrency adoption will emerge as the next big B2C trend.
Among the industries pioneering B2C solutions is travel. Some of the biggest benefits of transacting with cryptocurrencies are speed, security, and the elimination of high currency exchange rates. Access to money and the ability to transact without paying a fortune are both solutions high on travelers’ wish lists as many people have been burned by exchange fees in the past.
Allowing travelers to explore more freely and without the worry of how they will access funds (and how long it will take) is in the best interest of all travel providers. Although global travel is already riding on a high (bolstered by millennial interest in exploring), travel companies must change with the times or else risk being deemed irrelevant and disappearing off the grid for good.
The future of crypto-fueled travel
There is an emerging class of solutions designed to meet travelers at the intersection of cryptocurrency and global exploration, and many are moving a step beyond existing cryptocurrencies and launching their own tokens to make financing travel as seamless as possible. The AIRSTAYZ™ platform, for example, utilizes a proprietary STAY token to enable users to book hotels and local experiences from one centralized location. Not only does this platform solve for currency transaction issues global travelers often encounter, but it also streamlines the booking process by enabling people to schedule their travel needs in one place without toggling back and forth between multiple platforms. Airstayz™ will also offer its very own proprietary secured digital wallet to allows its users to have efficient, seamless access to their tokens.
How to fund your adventures with tokens now
With the recent news that Expedia has eliminated crypto payment options, it may seem like the current options are dwindling. However, there are a few remaining aggregation sites that make it easy to book with coins. CheapAir has allowed customers to book with cryptocurrencies for several years and continues to do so. Once you land, you can tap into Bitcoin Travel’s platform to find hotels that will allow you to book rooms with your coins. Through Bitcoin Travel’s platform, users have a variety of hotel options to choose from across global markets. For example, you can use your coins to stay at Hotel 32 32 in New York, the Royal Lancaster in London, and the Ibis Ambassador in Seoul.
Outside of this platform, more individual properties and hotel groups are beginning to accept alternative payments, including Hawaii’s Kauai Hotel.
The future of payments and travel payments is cryptocurrency. As more global travelers demand flexible payment options to fuel their stays, it’s only a matter of time before more legacy travel and hospitality companies begin adopting tokenized solutions.