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Japanese Airports Will See a Bitcoin Upgrade

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM

Japan’s Peach Aviation, a budget international airline that flies to multiple countries in the region has unveiled plans to install bitcoin ATMs at multiple airports in Japan amid other services to entice travelers in adopting the cryptocurrency.

Earlier in May, Peach became the first airline in Japan to accept bitcoin, a service that will enable travelers to buy air tickets with bitcoin by the end of the year. Peach is notably owned by All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline as its majority shareholder.

Cashless Travel via Bitcoin

More details about Peach’s endeavor to accept the cryptocurrency have now emerged. The airline is working with Tokyo-based bitcoin startup BITPoint to introduce the bitcoin payment gateway on the airline’s website, according to a report by The Asahi Sumbun.

Notably, bitcoin is also set to gain valuable real-estate with Peach Aviation plans to install two-way (BTC/JPY) bitcoin ATMs near ticketing counters “at multiple airports,” according to the report.

Peach counters at a Japanese airport.

The aim is to completely eradicate cash and, in extension, avoid the fees incurred when swapping currencies at airports. That sentiment is summed up by Peach Aviation’s CEO Shinichi Inoue, who stated:

I will devote myself entirely to enable people to travel without wallets.

Airports to see a Facelift

Other services introduced by Peach and BITPoint will see bitcoin accepted at souvenir shops, restaurants and accommodation facilities at the travel destination, according to their partnership agreement.

A list of other features and services to be offered by the airline and the bitcoin company include:

  • Introducing BITPoint’s bitcoin settlement service (payment gateway) at Peach’s online checkout.
  • Introducing BITPoint’s virtual currency wallet for Peach’s flyers.
  • The joint development of other virtual currency settlement stores and outlets
  • Installing virtual currency ATMs
Peach became Japan’s first airline to accept bitcoin.

Currently, bitcoin’s growing presence in the mainstream Japan is arguably unlike anywhere else in the world. A handful of significant legislative changes have helped the cause, with Japan legally classifying virtual currencies as a recognized method of payment akin to prepaid cards. Starting July, Japan will also stop enforcing its 8% consumption tax rate on purchasing bitcoin through Japanese exchanges.

A number of major companies are rushing into the bitcoin space to capitalize on the expected boom in demand, with Japanese authorities reportedly seeing over 15 applications for bitcoin exchange licenses.

Featured image from BITPoint.