Switzerland’s five-star hotel The Dolder Grand has announced that guests can now settle their bills in bitcoin or ether. In a tweet, the Zurich-based luxury hotel announced it was the first facility of its kind to accept cryptocurrency payments.
The crypto payment feature is being facilitated by fintech firm Inacta. The fintech firm has developed an app that allows guests to pay for hotel services from their bitcoin wallets. Bity, a Swiss cryptocurrency exchange, will convert the cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies. In future Inacta will extend the number of cryptocurrencies that customers can pay in.
According to Inacta’s blockchain advisory head, Roger Darlin, the app is targeting ‘hodlers’:
It is aimed at customers who have built up legitimate cryptocurrency holdings and who don’t want to convert them into traditional currencies, such as Swiss francs. This also allows vendors, who may be cautious about handling cryptocurrencies directly, to accept payments from these clients.
This coincides with Fortune 500 firm Avnet revealing it is accepting crypto payments after partnering with crypto payments firm BitPay.
Avnet, which boasts of over 15,000 employees in Asia, Europe and North America cited a desire to keep up with the times as a reason for accepting crypto:
With approximately 250,000 on-ledger Bitcoin transactions being made every day, we understand that the landscape is changing, and we’re positioning ourselves – and our clients – to be ready for it.
This comes less than a month since Switzerland’s largest retailer, Digitec Galaxus, started accepting a slate of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether. Other cryptocurrencies accepted were OmiseGo, NEO, TRON, Litecoin, Binance Coin, XRP, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, and Bitcoin Cash.
Digitec Galaxus was able to make this possible via a partnership with crypto payments provider Coinify. While the online retailer does not charge anything for the crypto payments, Coinify will slap a 1.5 percent fee. However, this feature was only made available for large purchases. For purchases of under 200 Swiss francs, crypto will not be accepted.
While the growing adoption of crypto payments by big names is impressive, the future can only get better. Towards the end of last month Japan’s largest railway and subway operator, Japan Railways (JR) Group, announced that it was considering the payment option. JR Group is however not planning to partner with a crypto payments provider. Rather the utility plans on building its own payments infrastructure from the ground up.
Another public sector body that is considering adopting bitcoin as a payment option is Kiev City State Administration. While the authorities of Ukraine’s capital have previously considered the idea but dropped it, this time it’s likely to work because it has introduced electronic tickets.