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Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar International Airport to accept Bitcoin and other cryptos as payment for tickets

Once the airport’s crypto payment system is operational, it will support major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, and the Petro, Venezuela’s oil-pegged crypto.

Maiquetia airport / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Wed, 13 Oct 2021, 13:23 pm UTC

Venezuela is known for having one of the highest rates of crypto adoption in the world. With the rise in usage of digital currencies, a major international airport in the country is now planning to allow passengers to pay for tickets and other services with Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

The Simón Bolívar International Airport is now preparing to comply with industry standards as pushes ahead with its plan of allowing passengers to pay in crypto, according to Cointelegraph. Simón Bolívar, which is also known as Maiquetia, is one of Venezuela’s major international airports and is located in the country’s capital Caracas.

Once the airport’s crypto payment system is operational, it will support major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, and the Petro, Venezuela’s oil-pegged crypto, according to Maiquetia airport director Freddy Borges. There are also plans to introduce new payment options in cooperation with the National Superintendence of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP).

Borges said that the introduction of the crypto payment option would benefit digital currency-owning tourists such as those from Russia. The new payment system will also mark Maiquetia airport’s commitment to support crypto adoption and adhere to international standards.

“We must advance in these new economic and technological systems to be accessible,” the executive said.

Airlines and airports around the world have already started experimenting with crypto payment options as well as blockchain-based services and functionalities, such as COVID-19 test results to improve their operations and customer service. For instance, Latvia’s airBaltic is already accepting Ethereum (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE) for ticket purchases.

In a 2020 study by the blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis, Venezuela has the third-highest cryptocurrency usage in the world. The country’s high inflation rate has forced its citizens to use crypto as a means of preserving the purchasing power of their wealth.

“Venezuela is suffering through one of the worst economic crises in modern history, with its national currency, the bolivar, becoming practically worthless,” Chainalysis noted. “Under these circumstances, cryptocurrency has taken on an important role in Venezuela’s economy … As the Venezuelan bolivar has lost value in the midst of hyperinflation, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries on earth.”

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