Cryptocurrencies have become tools for a myriad of functions. However, while investment appears to be the top choice, prominence in transactions is also growing. In the United Kingdom, a private jet company has reported rising crypto use in payments from its customers.
Bitcoin-Happy Jet Setters
SimpleFlying, an aviation industry data provider, recently reported that British private jet service PrivateFly had received 19 percent of its total payments in Bitcoin.
The company, founded in 2005, provides private jet charter services within and outside the United Kingdom. However, its Bitcoin journey started in 2013 after a tech businessman paid them in Bitcoin following a trip from Brussels to Nice.
While the coronavirus took a significant toll on its business, the firm did notice a considerable uptick in Bitcoin payments.
PrivateFly has seen much less Bitcoin activity when it comes to payments in previous years. However, with digital payment methods becoming more popular and Bitcoin getting increasingly profitable, the firm decided to incorporate the leading cryptocurrency into its service.
The decision paid off, with 12 percent of all revenues coming in the asset for December. Last month, the percentage jumped to 13 percent.
Company chief executive Adam Twidell explained that the increase most likely came from investors spending their realized gains from Bitcoin’s impressive performance in the past year. However, with most hoping to clock even more gains, there is a high probability that investors will want to keep their holdings instead of spending them.
Expected Growth in Bitcoin’s Use for Payments
Although still a nascent application, Bitcoin in payments is sure to grow over the next year. Several developments – including the rising trend of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – will accelerate ease of making crypto payments, allowing holders to access more transaction ease.
In Portugal, local energy company Luzbao announced last week that it would open a Bitcoin wallet that will allow crypto holders in the country to make electricity payments with Bitcoin. The service is set to begin before the end of the month, with Luzbao converting all paid Bitcoin to Euros immediately to avoid any shortfalls from Bitcoin’s volatility.
There is also a noticeable influx of payment processors entering the crypto space. Square, founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has had significant progress with its crypto-facing Cash App for years now.
In 2020, top payment processor PayPal began providing crypto payment and holding services as well to its hundreds of millions of customers. The company already realized significant gains, reporting a 36 percent jump in transaction volumes in Q4 2020 – marking the best quarterly returns in its history.
Credit card manufacturer Mastercard also announced support for cryptocurrencies earlier this month. With almost a billion users and 30 million merchants in its clientele, the company’s support will go a long way in supporting crypto’s payment growth.