Bitcoin as a Means of Payment When Traveling

In Which Countries Can You Already Pay?

In recent years, Bitcoin, which was once so critically eyed, has undergone a significant image change and has thus become increasingly interesting for private investors as well.

Since it has dominated the media since the summer of 2020 with constantly new highs, even the last skeptics have been shaken up. After all, it currently seems to be a very worthwhile investment and everyone wants to participate in the success story as long as possible.

How one enters the trade oneself depends on one’s own knowledge of the market. Those who have been familiar with the price trends for some time and have an eye on global political events and their impact on the value of cryptocurrencies probably have the confidence to buy and sell digital currencies themselves.

Practical apps for cell phones facilitate the management of one’s own holdings and allow access at any time, and technology like the Coinbase trading bot even helps investors to generate profit automatically.

In addition to its function as a form of investment, Bitcoin is also becoming more and more fashionable as an actual means of payment. How big is the acceptance already and in which countries can it be used?

Where Can I Pay with Bitcoin?

First and foremost, Bitcoin finds usage on the Internet due to its nature as a digital currency. For example, to process payments on booking platforms like Expedia or in online stores like Rakuten.

This means that you can choose between established payment methods such as PayPal or credit card and payment by Bitcoin. Web services such as Wikipedia and large corporations such as Dell and Microsoft have also long since integrated it into their payment transactions.

Even donations can be made by transferring Bitcoins. Greenpeace showed the way until they decided to stop last year.

On top of that, smaller and smaller merchants are doing the same as the big role models and are introducing cryptocurrencies as a possible means of payment. This goes so far that it is already possible to pay for hotel rooms or restaurant bills digitally in this way. The offer in cities around the world is growing continuously and the trend is also clearly noticeable worldwide.

What is the Global Spread Like?

In general, Western Europe is also quite well equipped with acceptance points in stores, in the service sector, and in the catering trade, even beyond online commerce.

Malta, Liechtenstein, and the Netherlands, in particular, are home to a great many crypto-friendly payment points. Arnhem is even considered the Netherland’s Bitcoin City with a total of over 100 involved merchants in just one city. And in Switzerland, they have already gone so far as to sell Bitcoin at the ticket machines of their federal railroad.

In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, penetration is declining significantly, and many countries are still completely excluded from development.

This is also true for most of Africa, with only a few countries being an exception where Bitcoin has already arrived. These include Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and South Africa, for example.

While New Zealand, Australia, and North America show very good coverage, Central and South America also still show many white spots on the map, since the general digitalization in most countries is not yet comparable with Western standards.

Asia is considered the pioneer par excellence when it comes to cryptocurrency. Therefore, it is no wonder to find an above-average distribution in many countries there, first and foremost in Japan, of course.

However, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia are also at the forefront. In the Mediterranean region, Israel is clearly ahead.

However, there are also countries that have already officially banned Bitcoin as a money substitute, including Algeria and Afghanistan.

On the global Bitcoin map, it is also noticeable that the acceptance points are primarily concentrated in the capital cities and large economic centers of the countries. In contrast, rural areas are still completely excluded from this development, which is not surprising.

What Developments Can be Expected?

In the U.S., Japan, and Germany, Bitcoin has long been recognized as an official means of payment by the ministries of finance. This is not the case everywhere; it has often only been tolerated to date. Or online trade is simply not comprehensively controlled in this respect.

Contactless payment apps will play an increasing role in further simplifying our global money flows in the future, making them more secure and at the same time circumventing the exchange rate problem.

The number of global acceptance points also seems to be steadily increasing as well. However, as much as the entire market is evolving, experts do not believe that digital alternatives will ever overtake cash.

For one thing, there is a lack of overarching digitization in many sectors. On the other hand, the daily exchange of goods, especially in developing and emerging countries, is still based entirely on the exchange of cash.

Any other scenario is not even conceivable here in the foreseeable future. Most travelers will still have no choice but to exchange money for local currency in order to be able to buy souvenirs and local specialties at any time.