One of the very important steps to securing widespread cryptocurrency acceptance is the use of cryptocurrency for common purchases. A number of mainstream companies such as AT&T and certain food chains have taken the leap to accept cryptocurrency as payment and others are expected to follow.
The reason this is important is that people need to see cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment on par with fiat currency in order to adopt it. Now, a company in California is taking steps to increase cryptic adoption within the travel space, specifically for the procurement of passports.
Bitcoin Comes to Travel
The company in question is called Peninsula Visa and they specialize in the experiment of passports and visas in the United States. They announced recently that they would now accept bitcoin for specific services as the U.S. State Department is returning to regular operations. Some of their services include changes to names on passport applications and passport renewals.
These bitcoin payments will be facilitated by Coinbase Commerce and according to Peninsula Visa COO Evan James, this move to include bitcoin is a natural one even as the travel sector is seeking to return to normal. The sector, like many others, has hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and is attempting to make up for the lost time.
There has certainly been a lot of lost time as in September 2020, it was estimated that the State Department had a backlog of nearly one million passports. The department’s 26 passport offices across the United States and Puerto Rico were shut down earlier this year to prevent the spread of the virus. This, unfortunately, affected many first-time applicants and those who were seeking to renew their passports.
So far, several of these offices have reopened to accept in-person applications. Additionally, wait times for passport returns have been changed to 10-12 weeks for standard passport applications, and 4-6 weeks for expedited passports. Prior to COVID, wait times could be in as little as a week.
Ultimately, efforts like these go a long way to normalize the use of cryptocurrency in daily life and make it easier for adoption to take place. Furthermore, the use of digital payment methods increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Should this effort prove successful, more firms that deal directly with governmental agencies might also choose to adopt cryptocurrency.
Want to learn more? This article might be of interest to you: