A major international airport in Venezuela is said to be preparing to start accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for tickets and other services.
The Simon Bolivar International Airport is working to ensure that crypto payments comply with local industry standards, regional news agency El Siglo reported on October 10, and the airport, also known as Maiquetia, is located in central Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
The airport plans to accept several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Dash, and Venezuela’s oil-linked digital currency Petro, according to Maiquetia Airport Director Freddy Burgess. He said the airport authorities will introduce new payment options in consultation with the Venezuelan National Crypto Asset Authority and related activities.
Burgess said the introduction of cryptocurrency payments at Maiquetia Airport would represent the company’s commitment to breaking international standards and adopting digital currency. According to the president, the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrency will benefit foreign tourists, including those from Russia.
“We need to move forward with these new economic and technological systems to be available,” Borges said.
The news comes amid Venezuela’s experiments with a central bank digital currency (CBDC), when the country’s central bank launched the Venezuelan digital bolivar on October 1. Unlike CBDC, which is pegged to Venezuela’s national currency, the Petro is backed by oil. A cryptocurrency launched by the government in February 2018.
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In recent years, many airports and airlines around the world have explored ways to implement cryptocurrency and blockchain-based functionality, offer more convenient cash payment options, and improve customer verification services, including COVID-19 test scores. In March, Latvian airline airBaltic began accepting Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE) as ticket payments after introducing cryptocurrency payments back in 2014.