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Are Cryptocurrency Payments the Future of Travel and Retail?

Key Insights:

  • Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular for investments and transactions over the past two years.

  • Due to the growing consumer interest in crypto, online merchants and retailers have begun to accept payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

  • Cryptocurrencies have risen to prominence as a form of payment in the retail and tourism sectors. However, will the bearish blues hinder the future?

Over the past few years, the cryptocurrency sector has gone from being a speculative asset class to achieving widespread mainstream adoption. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and a few others have seen a meteoric rise both in terms of retail and institutional adoption.

Investors ’risk appetite increased as the 2020 bull run unfolded; since then, cryptocurrency payments have also witnessed an increase in number. As cryptocurrencies rose to prominence, in 2021 amid high market euphoria, the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin earned an all-time high of $ 69.0000.

As a result, over the past two years, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular for investments and transactions. In fact, despite the recent long -drawn bearish market, crypto transactions and investments have become a common part of the financial landscape.

On January 14 this year, Tesla began accepting Dogecoin as a method of payment on select goods. However, it’s not just large institutions or retailers that are biased towards crypto payments; lately, tourism has also been touched by the crypto wave.

Retail x Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have gained traction in the financial world in recent years. A growing number of traditional investors are allowing crypto payments for consumers and clients.

Bitcoin and some altcoins are widely accepted as consumers, and online stores are realizing the potential of digital currencies. A report released by Goldman Sachs in January 2022 predicts that the digital economy is an $ 8 trillion dollar opportunity.

Not surprisingly, online merchants and retailers have begun accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to growing consumer interest in the space. It also allows these companies to position themselves as developing brands in the blockchain and Web 3.0 space.

Surprisingly, Microsoft was one of the first to adopt bitcoin in 2014 when it began accepting cryptocurrency as payment for purchasing games, apps, and other digital content in the Microsoft Store for platforms such as Windows Phone and Xbox.

Notably, modern digital payments giant PayPal began accepting bitcoin in September 2014-three months before Microsoft boarded the crypto train.

Additionally, many retailers such as Whole Foods, Home Depot, GameStop, Newegg, Starbucks, and AT&T are now accepting bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency in their retail stores.

Recent data shows that, in 2022, an estimated global crypto ownership rates averaged 4.2%, with more than 320 million crypto users worldwide. Several global brands, institutions, and retailers have now begun accepting or are planning to switch to crypto payments.

Tourism x Cryptocurrencies

While the retail sector often becomes the limelight when it comes to crypto payments, it’s not just retailers that show interest in the space; Cryptocurrencies, Web 3.0, and blockchain technology now have use cases in industries, including tourism. Not only has the travel industry embraced digital assets, but the intersection of the two sectors has also provided a new genre of operations – crypto tourism.

Crypto tourism includes funded or booked trips using cryptocurrencies or going to crypto-friendly destinations. The phenomenon also includes travel for crypto and blockchain events, seminars, and conferences that have increased significantly over the past few months after the pandemic subsided.

Notably, several airlines, tour operators, and travel aggregators have begun accepting crypto payments. Emirates Airlines has announced that it will soon accept bitcoin as a payment method. While the Latvian carrier and Air Baltic are already accepting crypto payments.

Latvian airline airBaltic was the first airline in the world to accept bitcoin payments for its flight tickets in 2014. Now the company also accepts ether and Dogecoin. Moreover, airfare websites like Cheapair.com and Travala.com also accept crypto payments. In addition, tour and activity booking sites such as GetYourGuide have also started accepting Dogecoin payments.

In fact, right now, crypto geeks are traveling to several crypto-friendly tourist destinations where digital payments are widely accepted. Crypto-friendly destinations include places like the Bahamas, which has its own digital currency called the Sand Dollar.

Is the Future Bright?

Looking at the growth of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment over the past five years shows optimism for the future. However, the recent bear market blues has significantly affected the sector, lowering the cryptocurrency market cap to a low of $ 887.24 billion at press time from a high of nearly $ 3 trillion last year.

Bearish sentiment and rising interest rates have cast doubt on investors in entering risky asset markets. However, looking at long -term growth, it can be said that cryptocurrencies could play an important role in shaping the future of payments.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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