Cryptocurrency to pay for airline tickets?

Some airlines have decided to allow payment of tickets in cryptocurrencies: fad or deep trend?

Blockchain technology is the foundation of many digital currencies that have seen tremendous growth in recent years. We can of course mention Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple in particular.

Some companies have decided to accept bitcoin currencies like Microsoft, Twitch, Domino’s Pizza, KFC? Subway, Etsy, Bado, Namecheap… And the craze for cryptocurrencies is now spreading to the sky.

AInsi Vueling just announced that it will accept payment for airline tickets in cryptocurrencies from 2023. 13 cyptocurrencies are accepted, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Shiba Inu and Wrapped Bitcoin. Bitpay authorizes bitcoin payments for Vueling.

This decision is important because in January 2023, Vueling will become the first European low-cost to accept cryptocurrencies.

The company also announced its presence in the metaverse: its customers can use its virtual distribution channels to book airline tickets.

In Asia, the cheap Japanese peach has been accepting payments in Bitcoin since 2017 and the major Japanese company ANA since 2018.

In addition to Vueling, several airlines and travel agencies already offer payment in cryptocurrency, such as Air Baltic, the first company to accept cryptos in 2014, AirAsia and its BigCoin tokens, LOT Polish Airlines,, Expedixa, Surf Air or Air Lithuania. Space tourism company Virgin Galactic also allows cryptocurrency payments.

In Spain, Air Europa has also launched the first ticket in NFT format, the NFTicket, in collaboration with TravelX.

One of the world’s first airlines, Emirates, announced plans last month to accept both Bitcoin and NFT payments on its website. According to Emirates COO Adel Ahmed Al-Redha, NFTs will help optimize business operations and enable tracking of key documents or analyze consumer preferences.

As early as 2016, Emirates CEO Tim Clark predicted that the company would migrate to open technology based on blockchain technology. According to him, this technology made it possible to have real-time data to “do many things faster, more intelligently and achieve the desired value, both in terms of customer and supplier interaction”.

Earlier this year, Emirates announced plans to convert its pavilion at the Dubai World Expo into a web 3.0 innovation site.

These projects are in line with larger projects in the United Arab Emirates. The country wants to launch a new organization called Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, focused on Web 3. The organization aims to become a key country for innovation in blockchain technology, attracting start-ups and said it wants to become a haven for employees and companies of cryptocurrency trading companies. Dubai is ranked 26th in the Global Crypto Ranking report. Germany, Singapore, the United States, Australia and Switzerland are the best placed countries.

In Asia, Singapore Airlines is giving members of its KrisFlyer digital program access to a digital wallet called Kris+ to pay for purchases in cryptocurrencies. In the United States, investors also offer an Ethereum-based loyalty program for any company that wants to join.

Digital currencies are controlled by a group of actors and not by a government or a central bank.

However, some states have decided to use cryptocurrencies as their national currency. EL Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as its national currency in September 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Which country of interest will now decide to adopt cryptocurrencies? In the air we saw that the enthusiasm of Emirates, Vueling, LOT, Air Baltic and Singapore Airlines was great. At the moment, no major country dares to take the plunge. The volatility of cryptocurrencies remains a major concern as their value has changed significantly in recent months…

Photo credit: Expat LicenseMIT License.

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