It’s that time of the year again. The flowers are in bloom, Easter is around the corner, and people all over the world are wondering how they’ll spend their upcoming summer. But this year has been different from previous ones. If you’ve ventured onto social media any time in the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed a new movement.
The crypto movement! Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have taken over our feeds with constant news updates, alarming headlines about how unprepared most people are for this new type of currency, and calls-to-action asking everyone to invest now before it’s too late. Some people are ecstatic, while others are skeptical. But, is anyone really asking the question of whether this is really a step forward for travel? Even as countries adopt cryptocurrencies at different rates.
(Image Source: Financial Times)
Travel is changing fast. It’s time to be a voice that moves the industry forward. This has been a year in which innovation has been everywhere – from Uber and Airbnb leading the charge with innovative business models, to NASA testing out 3D printing on Mars. With the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, 2021 has been the year of the disruptive, wild west of new business models and concepts. How exactly will this affect travel?
As cryptocurrency continues to be hyped around the world, it’s important to keep an open mind when making predictions about its impact on travel – otherwise you’ll end up entirely missing out on something that could change travel as we know it forever.
Hype vs Reality?
The days of travel being an amazing experience that brings people together and allows us to broaden our horizons may soon be gone. Imagine a future where there are no restaurants serving local cuisine or souvenir shops run by local artisans. Imagine if there was no one in your hostel who could show you around the city or give you advice on where to eat, drink and shop. A future where you can’t trust anyone.
Outlook: Scary. I’m not saying this will happen, but it could easily lead to a more homogenous, isolated and tourist-dependent travel industry. We’re at the start of a new era – an era of mass-produced travel that excludes local people from their communities through branded experiences and corporate partnerships. The world wants to connect with others on the Internet, and if we continue down this path, it won’t be long before superhighways replace cities. The travel industry is headed towards a strange, new place. It’s up to us to decide how it changes.
“Would you Like a Receipt, or Are You Paying in Bitcoin?”
(Image Source: Statista)
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to revolutionize the way you pay for travel. Right now, most people don’t understand what they are – and with the relentless media coverage of money lost due to hacks and fraud, many people still don’t trust them. But the implications of cryptocurrency go beyond just speculative investing or day trading. For travelers, this means completely new possibilities for booking flights, finding strange and unique accommodation for the night, and even buying entry tickets to museums all via our handheld smart devices.
Travel is a big-money industry with a big budget for preventing fraud. If cryptocurrencies want to be allowed anywhere in travel, they need to start proving their worth quickly. Companies like Coinbase are building more trust by providing more security features than other trading sites. But building trust takes time…and it’s not as simple as just slapping a “Bitcoin Accepted Here” sticker on your website or store front. It’s going to take some time before people are ready to put their credit card information into a form that ends with “.bitcoin.
As we move forward with blockchain technology in our daily lives, research shows that we’ll also see an increase of blockchain related travel. It’s becoming easier for travelers to learn how cryptocurrency is being used around the world better than ever before; quickly understanding where they can spend their virtual currency or invest in altcoins to support their travels.
Without a doubt, the advancement of blockchain technology will positively impact the travel industry, making it easier to reach international destinations without having to worry about currency conversion fees. The process is also much faster because of the way in which digital currencies are stored and processed. The eco-system is already large and growing and everyone is looking for ways to increase their profits when it comes to the movement of money between countries around the world.
In today’s travel culture, many people choose to save money and secure their travels by so-called “digital cash”. This means that people are more likely to pay with PayPal or credit cards because they do not have enough trust on cryptocurrencies.
In other words, it’s here to stay and something that will be a big part of travel. Even now, holding specific coins lets travelers enter certain lounges, making the allure of crypto even greater not just for leisure travelers but businesses too.