A Utah couple has overcome a serious obstacle in their quest to live on nothing but Bitcoins for 90 days. Austin and Beccy Craig were recently able to pay for a hotel and buy plane tickets with Bitcoins.
The couple bought their return flights to Atlanta plus booked a hotel room there via Bulgarian travel company Simply Travel.
Their experiment is part of a documentary, called Life on Bitcoin.
Simply Travel’s website currently does not allow flight booking, but Austin explained that he was able to get in touch with the company’s CEO, Gregor Amon, to arrange the plane tickets. Simply Travel plans to launch flight and rental car booking in the near future.
At the moment, users can still book rooms in 300,000 hotels with Bitcoin. Amon said the company currently processes payment with BitPay, but in the future is looking to implement its own payment gateway to avoid BitPay’s 0.99% service charge.
Bitcoin could be big for the travel industry. It’s already harder for travel companies to get lines of credit or bank support because they’re identified as “higher risk.”
As vendors of products and services that have to be delivered often months after purchase, travel companies are seen as risks from banks’ perspectives. If a travel provider goes bankrupt, it still might have to fill orders six months after the fact, for example.
Bitcoin could allow total circumvention of the banks’ concerns. And as the global travel industry inherently requires handling different currencies, Bitcoin’s ease of exchange and liquidity might be a huge boon to payment processing.
Travel providers also face fraud risk and chargebacks, as well, both of which Bitcoin could help solve.
Meanwhile, the Craigs are still trying to figure out the other logistical concerns of traveling on Bitcoins. For example, getting to and from the airports could be a challenge.
Since they began their Life On Bitcoin challenge, the Craigs have bought from 33 different businesses, but they are worried about finding Bitcoin businesses while they are on the move.
Meanwhile, they have since gone back to Simply Travel to book round-the-world flights, as they will meet with Bitcoin enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in Stockholm, Berlin and Singapore.