In January 2015, software developer and Bitcoin enthusiast Felix Weis embarked on a journey that would take him around the world. Over the next 18 months, Weis visited 50 cities in 27 countries–using Bitcoin as his only currency. It wasn’t always easy, but it proved a major point: Bitcoin can be used as a currency for travel.
Today, spending Bitcoin when traveling abroad is easier than it was in 2015. How much easier? Depends on your destination. Let’s check out how crypto-friendly specific countries are.
Trips for Different Bitcoin Budgets
As of writing this, 111 of the world’s 195 countries can be considered crypto-friendly. Only nine flat-out prohibit crypto use. Some of these popular business and vacation destinations are not only crypto-friendly but downright crypto-convenient. Canada boasts roughly 1,800 Bitcoin ATMs. Hong Kong and London have 130 and 92 Bitcoin ATMs, respectively, within their city’s borders. And Prague is just one of Czechoslovakia’s big cities with a wide range of goods and services purchasable with Bitcoin.
But there are plenty of less well-known destinations to consider too!
Surf’s up in El Zonte, also known as “Bitcoin Beach.” The economy of this El Salvador Pacific coast town has basically run on Bitcoin since 2019. In June 2021, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that “workers now receive their salaries and pay bills in Bitcoin, tourists can buy pupusas with a special Bitcoin payment app, and community projects are financed with Bitcoin donations.” In September 2021, El Salvador will officially recognize Bitcoin as legal tender across the nation.
Malta, the self-described “Blockchain Island,” started building its crypto-friendly reputation in 2017. Since then, an estimated $71 billion in cryptocurrency has passed through fintech companies that set up shop in the small Mediterranean country. Tourists can spend their leisure time and Bitcoin on treats ranging from tennis lessons to tattoos.
For a taste of the luxe life, a five-star hotel overlooking Switzerland’s Lake Zurich partnered with an air charter firm to offer an experience entirely payable in crypto. Not surprising, since the area around the nearby city of Zug has been dubbed “Crypto Valley” due to the many crypto businesses clustered there. The city itself has accepted Bitcoin as payment for taxes since 2017.
In November 2013, Virgin Galactic accepted its first Bitcoin payment. A flight attendant and early Bitcoin adopter in Hawaii paid $250,000 in Bitcoin for a future spaceflight. At the time, it was easier to buy a ticket to space than a ticket to Spain with Bitcoin.
Today, cryptocurrency encounters fewer travel obstacles and greater acceptance by merchants. And the more crypto you spend while traveling, the more merchants and nations will work to accommodate the crypto preferences of modern travelers. Crypto can become the ideal travel currency, as it is not subject to exchange rates that fiat currency is. We’d certainly bet on Bitcoin’s future in travel.
Do you have a favorite Bitcoin-friendly destination? Let us know in the comments!
Coinsource is the world leader in Bitcoin ATMs. With a focus on compliance and ease of use, Coinsource is aiming to bring Bitcoin to the masses. Follow for blogs about Bitcoin, finance, company updates and Bitcoin ATM information!