CEO of online travel giant Booking said that blockchain-based currencies will gain more popularity especially outside the U.S.
CEO of online travel giant Booking Holdings believes that blockchain-based currencies will continue to grow and gain more popularity.
Glenn Fogel, recently appointed CEO of Booking, expressed his support of cryptocurrencies in an interview with New York-based travel publication Skift on Aug. 20. In the interview, Fogel discussed blockchain and crypto alongside with major issues in the travel industry, including over-tourism.
Potential for a new global currency
When asked about the future of payment systems in travel, the Booking CEO emphasized that it needs to be seamless, adding that data security must be prioritized. Predicting that cash will become rare in the future, Fogel stated that he sees the potential for a new form of global currency that is protected and secure.
He stressed that such a currency would be especially popular outside the United States due to the widely-accepted credit card payment system. He said:
“When Bitcoin became well known, many questioned its legitimacy, and while the jury is still out on the future of Bitcoin, I do believe currencies with a blockchain base will continue to surface and may become more widely accepted across the globe, especially outside the U.S., which has a well-accepted credit card payment system.”
Founding member of Libra
Fogel was appointed as new CEO of Booking weeks after the travel giant was revealed to be a founding member of Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra along with payment giants Visa and Mastercard in mid-June.
Former Booking CEO Gillian Tans supported blockchain technology previously. In April 2018, Tans claimed that blockchain could make it easier for Booking to connect to properties and attractions, and eventually will bring benefits to customers.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s largest travel management company Corporate Traveller announced it will be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) for payments.
If you have outstanding tax debt, the IRS may now want to take your passport. For U.S. crypto holders still waiting on promised IRS guidelines for filing — especially those overseas who may have missed these warning memos — the over 400,000 agency notifications issued since February last year are troubling. This kind of behavior from government is nothing new, however, but an oft-repeating pattern of parasitism which sucks value from producers of goods, services and surplus, and punishes progress.
It has been said that the most cruel and insufferable forms of tyranny are not those with the most rules, but those with the rules that are the most unclear. Even under extremely unfair and unjust law, if one knows what is expected, one can often survive. It’s the proverbial drunken hand of the volatile, abusive caregiver, who one day is reserved about some small matter, and the next flies into a violent rage about the same, which is truly the crushing burden to bear. In the case of the caregiver, old, unaddressed emotional wounds are likely to blame. In the case of the state, the leveraging of ambiguity to produce fear is intentional.
In May, IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig wrote in a statement: “We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these [crypto issues] and other issues soon.” To date, no such guidance on filing crypto taxes has been issued. What has been issued, however, are vague threats and warnings to crypto holders and traders.
Since February, 2018, notifications have been going out to over 400,000 taxpayers who owe more than $51,000 (recently adjusted to $52,000) in overdue taxes. Since June this year, letters specifically targeting crypto holders have been issued. These letters also clarified inexplicably that, contrary to Rettig and the IRS’s previous statements, crypto is not simply treated as a property under U.S. policy. Every transaction except for buying crypto with fiat is a taxable event.
Expats, who may not have gotten these letters due to residing overseas, could potentially have their passports revoked. Those attempting to visit the U.S. may find themselves trapped in an airport, now without a recognized nationality, unable to return home to their families overseas should they set off alarm bells at immigration. Such mobility-stifling measures are a key means to contain and control financial assets, as the value creators moving them are then unable to relocate to more favorable economic climes.
The Attack on Sustenance
But, where there’s blood, there will be ticks. Where there’s self-sufficiency, surplus and charity, the government will be there to suck it dry. Attacking the geo-mobility of wealth holders through passport revocation is one desperate way to do this. But that’s not where the punishment of productivity ends, of course.
Much like the free exchange of bitcoin in the financial realm, being able to grow one’s own food is a major threat to the forced dependency of government. States worldwide have a long, continuing history of destroying food for price regulation, and shutting down private businesses serving their communities.
Just last month, for example, the U.K.’s sole organic hemp farming co-op was forced to destroy its crop worth an estimated £480,000 (~$583,000) due to licensing issues. The group, Hempen, states it had been completely forthright and transparent with officials, who had seen no problems for years until recently, suddenly deciding to revoke their license. The rationale for the revocation is of course, defined in tyrannically vague terms.
According to a BBC report, Hempen co-founder Patrick Gillen, lamenting the waste of potential tax revenue and benefits to the country from his products, stated:
Instead of capitalising on the booming CBD industry, the Home Office’s bureaucracy is leading British farmers to destroy their own crops, and millions of pounds’ worth of CBD flowers are being left to rot in the fields.
Historically, the New Deal legislation of the Great Depression (which also included the abandonment of the gold standard and a mandatory surrender of privately held gold) made these types of practices a norm in the U.S., when regulations were introduced in a bid to protect prices. John Steinbeck describes the travesty in sobering fashion, in his classic novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”:
And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges … A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains … And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.
Though fiction, the novel describes actual events that took place during that tragic era. These wasteful practices continue in the U.S. today. After being ordered to dump 30 million pounds of cherries to rot on the ground in 2009, for example, Michigan cherry farmer Rob Manigold echoed Steinbeck’s words:
The food pantry shelves are bare, people going hungry, and here we are dumping millions of pounds of cherries on the ground.
Arguments for such massive waste based on “the greater good” or “necessary regulation” don’t hold up to economic principle or moral scrutiny, as stifling production where demand is present is irrational, unless justified by one class of individuals possessing a supposed right to determine what others may or may not do with their own bodies or property, which is slavery.
Why Crypto Is the Final Target
So what in the hell do mountains of rotting fruit and revoked passports have to do with crypto? Quite a lot, it transpires. A money that cannot be centrally regulated provides the same essential power that a flourishing, productive private farm does, but on a whole new level. Self-sufficiency. A passport allows free movement, which is another necessity for self-sufficiency. Once the state is not needed for money, however, that’s the very end. At that point, centralized governance is not needed at all. The advent of bitcoin made the financial transcendence of central banks, geopolitical restrictions, and third party oversight possible.
With global devaluation of fiat currencies ever growing, and reckless low and negative interest rate policies being instituted to create more credit bubbles worldwide, the state is beginning to panic. That’s a good sign. The way to sense a debate has been won is often to simply observe one’s opponent beginning to react with fear or irrational outbursts. In the state’s case the reaction is actual violence, however, and that’s why no matter how hard anyone might try, it cannot be said that there is any freedom to be had without a very real risk. What price one is willing to pay for that freedom is entirely up to the individual.
What are your thoughts on government parasitism? Let us know in the comments section below.
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
Spending during the holiday season should be easy but borders, physical and financial, often complicate matters. A world currency that can travel with you and is widely accepted sounds like a good idea. Among cryptocurrencies, bitcoin cash is an ideal candidate, with its low fees and instant transactions. New opportunities to spend, buy and sell BCH are emerging around the world all the time.
Bitcoin cash is a currency that facilitates payments and businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, are increasingly realizing its potential to do that. News.Bitcoin.com recently dispensed advice on how to travel the world with bitcoin cash. Now we’d like to follow up with information on what you can do with your coins once you reach your destination.
BCH adoption is growing globally but some places in particular deserve to be highlighted. Slovenia is a small picturesque country in South Eastern Europe which has over 300 merchants accepting BCH. Europe as a whole has 446, according to the Marco Coino app. Other notable examples include Australia, with more than 140, the U.S. with almost 120, and Japan where around 70 businesses take BCH.
Many renowned destinations will offer BCH users plenty of opportunities to spend their cryptocurrency. If you travel to Los Angeles, for example, you can lunch at Fresh Brothers Pizza which accepts bitcoin cash. One of the chain’s restaurants is located pretty close to LAX. And if you visit Hollywood, you can have a haircut at the Native LA Barbers shop and also pay with bitcoin cash. Currently, the State of California has over 30 locations where BCH is accepted.
The Northeast is another part of the U.S. where bitcoin cash can buy you goods and services. New Hampshire is an absolute champion with 16 companies accepting the cryptocurrency. New York has at least 7 businesses open to BCH payments. According to Bitconmap.cash, you can dine in a La Sirene seafood restaurant in Manhattan or get a coffee at the Mamacha Art Café paying with coins.
Bitcoin Cash ATMs at Niagara Falls and in Las Vegas
If you need to buy or sell bitcoin cash, numerous ATMs across North America support the crypto. According to Coinatmradar’s BCH Map, their number exceeds 1,350. For instance, two of them are located close to the Niagara Falls between the Canadian province of Ontario and upstate New York. And if you decide to spend some time and money in Las Vegas, on the other end of the continent, you’ll find over 40 BATMs selling BCH. The majority are two-way devices and will also buy your digital coins in case you need some fiat cash for the casinos.
In South America, Venezuela is by far the biggest bitcoin cash adopter. The Marco Coino map shows over 190 businesses accepting BCH there. Under normal circumstances, the country could be a very attractive tourist destination. However, crypto adoption in the past couple of years has been driven largely by severe economic and political crisis combined with record depreciation of the Venezuelan fiat currency, the bolivar. Over 30 companies in neighboring Colombia also welcome bitcoin cash payments. Unlike Venezuela, Colombia has many teller machines supporting BCH.
Europe is a pronounced leader in terms of bitcoin cash adoption. Beside Slovenia, where the vast majority of businesses accepting BCH are based, there’s the United Kingdom, which is home to 21 companies that take bitcoin cash, most of which are concentrated in and around London. Some of them, such as Westland Coffee & Wine and Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes Bar, are situated in the very heart of the British capital. There are also 18 BCH ATMs in London.
Lithuania is another country catering to BCH users. The small European nation hosts around 30 firms accepting electronic cash. Most of them are located in or close to the capital Vilnius. In general, crypto payments have been spreading rapidly across the Baltic region in the past few years. Businesses from multiple sectors, including real estate, online commerce, the hospitality industry, and even healthcare, are now billing products and services in digital coins. There are several bitcoin cash ATMs in neighboring Latvia and Estonia.
Spain, which gathers many tourists during all seasons, has 13 bars, restaurants and shops accepting BCH just in Barcelona, capital of Catalonia which is one of its most developed regions. Other businesses that work with the popular cryptocurrency are located in Zaragoza, Valladolid, Gibraltar and elsewhere. The country also has 15 BCH trading ATMs, one of which is in Madrid and another one on the Canary island of Tenerife.
A great number of cruise tours are organized each summer in the Mediterranean. There are bitcoin cash accepting businesses in Gibraltar, close to the Spanish city of Alicante, the Tunisian capital Tunis, and in Israel. You’ll find bitcoin cash ATMs in Palma de Mallorca, Palermo and Napoli in Italy, and close to the Old City of Jerusalem. There’s also a BCH trading teller machine in Jeddah, not far from the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia which like Jerusalem attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
Africa has been relatively slow to adopt cryptocurrencies for various reasons, but the South Africa can qualify as an exception. At least three companies in the area of Johannesburg, the largest city, accept payments in bitcoin cash and another one is based in Durban. Uganda, which is also considered to be a crypto-friendly nation, has a bitcoin ATM that supports BCH in its capital Kampala, close to Lake Victoria, the largest African lake and a place that’s worth visiting.
If you travel to Southeast Asia, you’ll find numerous places to spend your bitcoin cash. These include bars, restaurants and other businesses in the Thai capital Bangkok and in Singapore. Hong Kong has at least four companies taking BCH but further north, Japan is the pronounced leader with almost 70 businesses accepting payments in bitcoin cash. Most of them are in the capital Tokyo and in Osaka, which is the second largest metropolitan area in the county. Many ATMs across the region support purchases and sales of bitcoin cash, with the highest number in Malaysia that has nine devices, four of which have been installed in Kuala Lumpur.
Have you spent bitcoin cash while on a vacation? Share you experiences in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
The partnership will see Travala.com integrated in the official Bitcoin.com wallet with almost 4 million users
London, United Kingdom –– May 15, 2019 — Travala.com, – leading blockchain travel booking platform, has announced a partnership with Bitcoin.com to empower millions of travelers to save on hotel stays. Travala.com is transforming the travel industry, by offering an average of 15% savings on hotel bookings as well as the option to pay with several leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. This partnership will empower millions of users to participate in a cheaper, fairer, and more inclusive travel economy.
Commenting on the partnership, Matthew Luczynski, CEO, and Founder of Travala.com said, “A reflection of our unwavering commitment towards cryptocurrency adoption, we’re excited to partner with an industry titan to champion the growth of the crypto community. With over 80% of the bookings on our platform made chiefly in digital currencies, the partnership will allow us to leverage Bitcoin Cash’s global network for greater real-world usability. We are excited to work closer with Roger and the Bitcoin.com team.”
“Importantly, this is also a powerful demonstration of the synergies between both the travel industry and disruptive technologies, as we strive to significantly lower the barriers of entry. The past year has seen our team achieve a number of milestones, from having recently exceeded our equity crowdfunding target, to the steady growth of our ecosystem, we look forward to seeing even greater progress as we build a transformative future for the online travel industry,” added Luczynski.
With a reach of over 210 countries and territories Travala.com’s portfolio of over 82,000 destinations serves as a gateway to a more efficient travel booking experience. Opening the doors to lower hotel prices and a more streamlined booking platform, Bitcoin Cash holders will now be able to choose from almost 600,000 property listings for their next holiday, with ease, through the use of their Bitcoin.com wallet.
Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com said, “Our work is guided by a stout belief in Bitcoin Cash as a model of economic freedom and this includes the continual expansion of offerings under our current suite of products and services. By providing additional functionalities compatible with the lifestyle choices of our community, this partnership exemplifies the value of digital currencies and will build out our ecosystem with a real-world, viable use case.”
Launched in 2015, Bitcoin.com is an industry pioneer with an established suite of Bitcoin-related products, tools, and services. Empowering users to be part of the digital economy, the Bitcoin.com wallet enables the sending of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash between users in a direct, secure, and non-intrusive manner, with a global reach of over 3.9 million users.
Bitcoin Cash users are able to access Travala.com directly from their Bitcoin.com wallet.
CEO and Founder, Matthew Luczynski, is available for interview
Offering an average of 15% savings on bookings, Travala.com is the leading blockchain travel booking platform transforming the future of the online travel industry. A proven platform with over 567,928 properties across 210 countries and territories, spanning 82,311 destinations, Travala.com leverages and innovative application of blockchain technology and token economy to deliver a streamlined booking process and a fairer pricing system for consumers and merchants alike.
Bitcoin.com is supercharged to change the world with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Our suite of developer tools has been downloaded 36,000+ times from over 100 countries. Our team is the heart and soul of the Bitcoin Cash industry. We’re committed to making BCH available to all people, whatever their age, gender, nationality or financial status.