Backpackers and budget travelers in London can now pay for their accommodation in both Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Clink Hostels, which has two locations in central London, began processing cryptocurrencies in February.
How it works
Right now, they handle the transactions themselves with a straight-up QR code system to receive payment. This means guests are transferring funds directly into the chain’s wallet. That said, a company representative has said they might switch to Coinbase in the future.
In fiat, the going rates at Clink hostels can range from 18 GBP for a night in a dorm to 95 GBP for a private double room, depending on the day and time of year.
Traveling with cryptocurrencies
Digital currencies actually open up a number of opportunities for travelers. For one, if you could pay for a whole trip and the day-to-day spending in a single currency, that would allow you to save both on processing costs and exchange costs, at least theoretically.
And big payment processors such as BitPay and Coinbase easily allow merchants to exchange their Bitcoins/Litecoins/whatever for fiat almost immediately. The learning curve for merchants gets less steep by the day, in fact.
That said, recent events such as Mt. Gox’s collapse have helped spread false narratives that “Bitcoin went bankrupt” and shaken the confidence of casual observers.
Those of us in the community recognize that growing pains are going to happen, but they still hinder wider acceptance.
But little by little, that day is coming.