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New Virtual Currency the Preferred Choice for the Tech-Savvy Tourist

17 FEB 2014
Career Path : Hospitality

This week, the CTC blog discusses the rise of Bitcoins, their impact on the travel industry and their increased popularity amongst tech-savvy tourists. Recently, two Las Vegas casinos became the first of their kind to accept Bitcoins, and online travel services are also jumping on board the trend. PointsHound helps travelers book trips and earn points toward their various loyalty programs.  Now, those points can be redeemed as Bitcoins. For those of us who still favour conventional cash, there may be some confusion regarding exactly how the system works.  The blog post, Bitcoin: Preferred Choice for the Tech-Savvy Tourist, clarifies that a Bitcoin:

is a form of virtual currency that can be bought and sold online through encrypted peer-to-peer networks. There is no typical third party bank keeping track of transactions, but rather a virtual (no-fee) ledger that records and verifies each transaction. The alluring thing about Bitcoins, is that their value fluctuates according to supply and demand. They are speculative – one could purchase $200 worth of Bitcoins today and by tomorrow, find their investment has doubled. More and more retailers are accepting the virtual currency, helping consumers potentially stretch their dollar a bit further.

Not only are consumers pleased to circumvent banking fees, they feel they can trust Bitcoins more than conventional government-backed currency. We have seen the cost of the coins in dollars rise from a few cents to values of $1200 – and although their value is still volatile, increasing use around the world is stabilizing the free market. Perfect for on-the-go purchases, Bitcoins offer unique opportunities for the travel industry to attract young spenders, who in the wake of several global financial crises, are particularly drawn to the decentralized system that eliminates transaction fees and the need to convert to local currencies.