A major international airport in Venezuela is reportedly preparing to start accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as payment for tickets and other services.
Enabling crypto payments
Simón Bolívar International Airport is working to enable cryptocurrency payments to meet local industry standards. This reported regional news agency El Siglo on Sunday. The airport, also known as Maiquetia, is located in the center of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
According to Maiquetia airport director Freddy Borges, the airport plans to accept many cryptocurrencies. This includes, for example, Bitcoin, Dash and Venezuela’s oil-deposited digital currency, the Petro. He said the airport administration would introduce new payment options in coordination with Venezuela’s National Superintendence of Crypto Assets and related activities.
The introduction of crypto payments at Maiquetia airport would mark the company’s commitment to moving forward toward international standards and driving digital currency adoption, Borges noted. According to the executive, the crypto payment option would benefit foreign tourists, including those from Russia. Borges stated the following:
“We need to make progress in these new economic and technological systems to be accessible.”
Experimenting with CBDC
The news comes as Venezuela experiments with a central bank digital currency (CBDC). With the country’s central bank launching the digital Venezuelan bolivar on October 1. Unlike a CBDC, the Petro is an oil-backed crypto currency. The CBDC is pegged to the national currency of Venezuela. It was launched by the government in February 2018.
Several airports and airlines around the world have been exploring ways to introduce crypto payments and blockchain-based functionalities in recent years. These would provide better options for cash payments and improve authentication services for customers. This includes, for example, COVID-19 test results. In March, Latvian airline airBaltic started accepting Ether and Dogecoin as ticket payments. This happened after the rollout of crypto payments back in 2014.