Are cryptocurrency payments the future of travel and retail?

Are cryptocurrency payments the future of travel and retail? - accept bitcoin payments from the storeOver the past couple of years, the cryptocurrency industry has gone from being a speculative asset class to achieving massive mainstream adoption. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and some others have seen meteoric rise in both retail and institutional adoption.

Investors' risk appetite increased as the 2020 bull run took off; since then, cryptocurrency payments have also increased dramatically. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, in 2021, in the midst of the euphoria of the market, the main cryptocurrency, bitcoin, reached the quotation maximum of $ 69.000.

As a result, over the past couple of years, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular for investments and transactions. Indeed, despite the recent bear market, cryptocurrency transactions and investments have become an integral part of the financial landscape.

On January 14 of this year, Tesla began accepting Dogecoin as a payment method on select goods. However, it is not just large institutions or retail businesses that are moving towards cryptocurrency payments; tourism has also recently been touched by the wave of cryptocurrencies.

Retail and cryptocurrencies

In recent years, cryptocurrencies have gained ground in the financial world. A growing number of traditional investors have authorized cryptocurrency payments for consumers and customers.

Bitcoin and some altcoins are becoming widely accepted by consumers and online stores realizing the potential of digital currencies. A report released by Goldman Sachs in January 2022 predicts that the digital economy represents an $ 8.000 trillion opportunity.

No wonder online merchants and retailers have started accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, given the growing consumer interest in this industry. This also allows these companies to position themselves as developing brands in the blockchain and Web 3.0 space.

Microsoft was one of the first to adopt bitcoin

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

Interestingly, modern digital payments giant PayPal began accepting bitcoin in September 2014, three months before Microsoft got on the cryptocurrency train.

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

Recent data shows that, as of 2022, cryptocurrency ownership globally is estimated to be 4,2% on average, with over 320 million cryptocurrency users worldwide. Numerous global brands, institutions and retailers have begun accepting or are planning to move to cryptocurrency payments.

Tourism and cryptocurrencies

While the retail sector is often the center of attention when it comes to cryptocurrency payments, retailers aren't the only ones showing interest in this space; cryptocurrencies, Web 3.0, and blockchain technology now have use cases across industries, including tourism. Not only has the travel industry embraced digital assets, but the intersection of the two sectors has given rise to a new genre of operations: cryptotourism.

Crypto tourism includes trips funded or booked with cryptocurrencies or to crypto-friendly destinations. The phenomenon also includes travel to crypto and blockchain events, seminars and conferences, which have increased significantly in recent months, after the pandemic subsided.

Interestingly, several airlines, tour operators, and travel aggregators have started accepting cryptocurrency payments. Emirates Airlines has announced that it will soon accept bitcoins as a payment method. While the Latvian carrier and Air Baltic already accept cryptocurrency payments.

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

In fact, nowadays, cryptocurrency enthusiasts travel to several crypto-friendly tourist destinations where digital payments are widely accepted. Among the crypto-friendly destinations are places like the Bahamas, which have their own digital currency called the Sand Dollar.

Is the future bright?

If you look at the growth of cryptocurrencies as a payment method over the past five years, there is optimism for the future. However, recent market declines have significantly affected the industry, causing cryptocurrency market capitalization to drop to a low of $ 887,24 billion at press time, up from last year's high of nearly $ 3.000 trillion. .

The bearish sentiment and rising interest rates have made investors skeptical of entering risky asset markets. However, looking at long-term growth, it can be argued that cryptocurrencies could play a crucial role in shaping the future of payments.

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