Companies Launch Crypto Pay Travel Pilots

Crypto-keen travelers in Japan may soon be able to use digital tokens to pay their way as they move around the country – with airport taxi services and luggage storage facilities in major cities launching crypto pay pilot initiatives.

The operators of a nationwide baggage storage service and a Ethereum ERC 20 protocol token say they have partnered with stores, guesthouses, tourist information centers and storage facilities in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as businesses on the island of Hokkaido – a popular destination for domestic and international tourists. Partner companies agreed to take part in a pilot scheme whereby travelers settle their luggage storage bills using digital tokens rather than Japanese yen.

The coin’s operators say their token, NinjaCoin, has recently been listed on British exchange platform Mercatox.

Meanwhile, per Bloomberg, Hinomaru Limousine – a Tokyo-based airport pickup service with a fleet of some 500 vehicles – has begun on an ambitious three-month pilot whereby customers can pay for their rides in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, travelling from either Narita or Haneda, the country’s two busiest airports to the metropolitan Tokyo area.
The company’s pilot is being conducted in conjunction with Remixpoint, the operator of Financial Services Agency-licensed exchange platform Bitpoint.

Remixpoint is one of Japan’s largest energy companies, and last month announced it would begin integrating Bitcoin pay “to address growing demand” – allowing Bitcoin customers access to a range of discounts and special offers.

Last year, Peach, a Japanese budget airline, made headlines all over the world when it announced that it intended to begin accepting bitcoin ticket purchases – although over a year later, the airline’s crypto pay service is still yet to materialize.

However, cryptocurrencies find their way into the travel industry not in Japan, only.
As reported in October, local government authorities in Australia have given their blessing to a deal that will see cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance invest USD 2.5 million into TravelbyBit, an Australian crypto startup – potentially opening the door for crypto pay options for travelers at international airports.

Earlier this year, the company announced that “travelers from all over the world are now able to pay using digital currency at Brisbane Airport, the world’s first digital currency airport.”

In January, TravelbyBit published a story about Robert, an eighty-year-old Singaporean Bitcoin investor, who traveled Australia on crypto.

Author: Tim Alper
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Expert: ‘Regulations Will Help Spark Mexican Crypto Boom’

One of Mexico’s top fintech lawyers says cryptocurrencies will be commonplace in Mexico “by 2020 or 2021,” as the popularity of Bitcoin and altcoins grows in the country – and the government continues with a progressive approach to regulation.

State-run media outlet Notimex quotes Julio César Rojas de la Cruz, Fintech Advisor at Mexico City-based law firm RCA Abogados, as saying that the popularity of cryptocurrencies is increasing fast in the country. The lawyer says the rate is particularly high among younger Mexicans – who are keen to invest money in currencies that are not influenced by government policies or inflation.

Rojas de la Cruz also added that he believes Mexicans will be able to buy, sell and spend tokens without the use of a conventional financial institution (such as a commercial bank) “by 2020 or 2021.”

The lawyer also said that the government’s move last month to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges has already helped drive up interest in digital tokens – and is even providing a model for other countries looking to regulate. “Our legislative model is going to be replicated in other countries,” stated Rojas de la Cruz.

The Mexican parliament recently passed a law that will require exchanges in the country to operate under license from the country’s central bank, Banxico. As of March next year, companies wishing to obtain a license will need to present Banxico with a report detailing the nature of their business operations, a list of employees and their responsibilities, commission rates and proof that they are able to prevent customers from engaging in illegal activities, such as money laundering.

Rojas de la Cruz also stated that a second round of fintech regulations was also now in the pipelines, and would likely pass before parliament sometime next year – taking legal effect in March 2020.

The lawyer also said that a number of overseas exchanges were now looking to set up shop in Mexico following news of the regulations.

He opined that the country could also be set for another 2017-style crypto boom, stating, “Demand is rising increasing again, and we hope that between 2019 and 2020 [the cryptocurrency market] will generate the same sort of revenues and volumes as last year.”
A number of exchanges in the country have welcomed the new regulations, saying they will help legitimize crypto businesses, boost public confidence in cryptocurrencies and encourage investment.

Author: Tim Alper
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At Least 30% of All Brazilians Are Interested in Crypto Investments.

Cryptos continue to make their way into the world of finance becoming more and more popular. Not only are they a mechanism used by anarchists and tech savvy people, but they are now increasingly used as financial tools by ordinary users.

This is extremely important for the consolidation of cryptocurrency as a revolutionary alternative to the traditional financial system, given that its advantages are becoming increasingly evident to the general public.

Not Only Brazilians are Informed About Cryptos, They Are Also Interested in Owning Cryptocurrencies
A study conducted by the cybersecurity company Avast and sent to the Bitcoin oriented brasilian website Portal Do Bitcoin, revealed that about 30% of Brazilians are interested or plan to invest in cryptocurrencies in the near future.

The survey was carried out on a total of 1900 individuals during the month of April, and although the study was carried out in compliance with certain statistical standards, despite having randomly chosen subjects from different social strata, 84.36% admitted to being familiar with cryptocurrencies.

This is another extremely relevant fact, since it allows the conclusion to be drawn that in a country as heterogeneous as Brazil, catalogued as one of the world’s leading emerging economies, the fact that almost 90% of its population has some knowledge about cryptocurrencies could facilitate a massive adoption in the near future.

Brazilians prefer to view their websites with ads rather than “lending” their processing power to cryptomining. 44% of respondents agreed to websites using their computers to mine in exchange for an ads-free experience.

In relation to scandals related to illegal or nonconsensual miners (such as the famous malwares and extensions used to mine Monero XMR), 86.6% of those surveyed expressed concern about being infected. The rest do not give it much importance; however, of this 13.4% almost half think it would not affect them because they do not own any cryptocurrency.

The Brazilian market is of special importance for the regional development of South America. Brazil handles much of the Gross Domestic Product in the region.

Despite not having special support from financial institutions, a large part of the crypto and blockchain related projects consider Brazil to be an important market niche to expand their operations on a global scale.

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Author: Jose Antonio Lanz
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