As of late, bitcoin and cryptocurrency are being used all the time to pay for travel expenses such as flights and hotel stays, but is paying for these items with crypto a good idea?
Travel and Bitcoin: A Solid Match?
For many, the idea of using bitcoin and its altcoin cousins to pay for goods and services is a dream come true and the realization of a strong financial vision. These currencies were initially designed to take over and push fiat, checks and credit cards to the side. However, when it was discovered just how volatile they were going to be, many businesses ultimately said “no” and turned their backs on the assets, hoping to never have to deal with them again.
To an extent, we cannot really blame them considering the businesses in question have to transfer the digital currency into fiat. Granted they don’t do it in time, the crypto can lose value and the amount of profit the business has earned shrivels up. Thus, until bitcoin and its altcoin friends get their volatility under control, we can’t expect to see crypto payments becoming mainstream.
But for some, like Troy Wiipongwii – the director of the William & Mary Blockchain Lab – paying for things like travel has become practically second nature. In an interview, he states that he recently booked a flight from Newark to Toronto. The airline he used was Air Canada, and they accepted a bitcoin payment for his expenses. He states:
This process isn’t much different than paying with a credit or debit card. When you log in, you have a wallet, and you can make a purchase from the wallet.
As it stands, there are several advantages to paying for travel expenses with cryptocurrencies. The biggest one is that crypto allows customers to avoid foreign exchange fees. For those traveling abroad, these fees tend to stack up high. It often happens when one person is looking to take their natural fiat currency and trade it for the fiat that represents the country they’re visiting. Crypto allows travelers to get out of this situation.
There Are Some Things to Think About
A new survey suggests that as many as 22 percent of Americans looking to travel in the future are considering utilizing cryptocurrency for their expenses. Juan Otero – the CEO of Travala.com – says:
The number of bookings using crypto has steadily risen month over month to record highs, even during the pandemic. It’s a sign that more people have crypto, and they want to spend it on travel.
However, there are also disadvantages to using crypto for travel payments, volatility being a huge one. Also, those who use crypto to pay for items are not subject to the same consumer protections as those looking to utilize credit cards as they would be under the Fair Credit Billing Act.