The global financial crisis in the past year or so has resulted in a spike in crypto adoption around the world. Cryptocurrencies have shown great potential of being an effective solution for inflation despite the effects of the current macro environment.
More and more people ranging from financial novices to professionals and institutions have jumped onto the crypto bandwagon over the past few years.
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Crypto in most facets of everyday life
A few years ago, it would be laughable to imagine a world where different cryptocurrency platforms would become household names. But all that has changed and crypto platforms especially crypto exchanges are increasingly partnering with popular brands around the world. An example is Crypto.com which had the famous home of the Los Angeles Lakers renamed to “Crypto.com Arena” before later being named the Official Sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Cryptocurrencies are also increasingly becoming a valid medium of paying for goods and services. Crypto service providers have started offering debit/credit cards in partnership with Visa and MasterCard thus allowing users to use their cryptocurrency holdings in paying for everyday items.
Retail shops and service providers are also started accepting cryptocurrency payments solidifying cryptocurrencies as a valid form of currency.
Crypto in the food and beverage industry
For example, in the UAE, food and beverage giant 7 Management has made it possible for customers to pay with crypto at all of their locations throughout the country. It currently accepts payment with major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, BitcoinCash and Ethereum, although it will most likely expand the list in future.
Countries like Australia and the USA have also seen coffee shops and cafés accept cryptocurrency as payment besides accepting mainstream payment methods, such as cash, debit cards, and credit cards like Visa or Mastercard. Some even employ the concept of cryptocurrency as inspiration for their Menu.
Crypto Coffee, a local café in Brisbane, Australia, for example, derives the names of their menu items from different crypto coins. Its menu features items like the BTC Chipotle Chicken Toastie and Doge BLT.
Crypto in the travel industry
The travel industry is one of the industries that has benefitted most from crypto payments with many travel companies and agencies now accepting the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment while travelling in certain countries.
Earlier this year, 1inch Network announced a partnership with the famous Binance-backed online travel agency Travala.com. Travala has been at the forefront of accepting crypto payments with the latest being the acceptance of Shiba Inu (SHIB). The collaboration is a huge step towards boosting crypto use in the travel industry since travellers can now book with different types of cryptocurrencies. Travala.com joined Destinia, which is another widely known booking service that has been accepting BTC payments since 2014.
With the growth of digital nomads and the reopening of borders now that the brunt of the pandemic has passed, there have been a lot more open discussions about the future of travel in general. However, the economic meltdown that has majorly affected the tourism and travel industry has most countries looking for new and innovative ways of inspiring tourism and spending.
Crypto in travel documentation and visas
While using cryptocurrencies when travelling has become more mainstream in the past few years, travel documentation still has a long way to go in fully adopting the use of cryptocurrencies as proof of income.
Currently, the UK government states clearly that Bitcoin is not an accepted form of currency when it comes to proof of income. In the US, although some financial sectors are slowly beginning to allow virtual currency as proof of income, crypto acceptance in applying for visas or ESTAs is a bit slow. In Schengen countries, the general consensus is that currently, only fiat bank statements are reliable proof of income.
A representative of the European Commission, Laura Bernard, confirmed that traditional bank statements were still necessary, but added that since visas are processed on a case-by-case basis, that there truly wasn’t a rule that fits every single person’s situation. This implies that virtual assets might be useful in grasping the full picture.
Marc Piercey, one of the heads of the New Zealand Immigration Department, recently mentioned that there is technically no actual ban on using cryptocurrency as fiducial proof, but did indeed say that ultimately it is easier for visa applications to use fiat-oriented methods of proof.
In general travel documentation and visas still have a long way to go when it comes to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.