Peach Aviation is the first carrier in Japan accepting Bitcoin payment options for airline tickets. A change in Japanese regulations has legalized the use of Bitcoin as a form of exchange.
Based in Japan, Peach is a low cost carrier specializing in flights that operate in Northeastern regions in Asia. The airline offers international travelling options to several countries, namely Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan as well as China and Thailand.
Earlier in May, Peach Aviation announced it would begin to accept payment for flight tickets using Alipay, a payment platform that around half a billion Chinese people already use.
The move has been made to attract additional tourists from different parts of Asia. There is an increase in tourists coming from China as well as South Korea, and Peach is trying to take advantage of Japan’s fascination for Bitcoin with this marketing gimmick.
Peach is also attempting to enhance its tie-ups with local governments and companies of various regions in order to expand using the cryptocurrency.
The acceptance of Bitcoin is seen as a marketing ploy and follows the examples from elsewhere around the world. Peach has now become just one of 5,000 companies in Japan accepting Bitcoin, in order to win business from rich Chinese customers.
Formally Recognizing Bitcoin
According to Peach Aviation, Bitcoin cryptocurrency can now be used by people for booking airline seats from the end of this year. In April, there were some changes to the country’s laws related to fund settlement, which enabled the airline to make this move.
The recent regulation has legalized the use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin for fund settlements and was done in order to enhance domestic investments in innovative technology. In addition, the Japanese government has formally recognized Bitcoin and this is an essential aspect of controlling something related to money laundering and related crimes.
Peach Aviation CEO Shinichi Inoue stated that the idea behind the new acceptance of Bitcoin is to encourage overseas tourists and re-energize the regions of Japan.
The use of Bitcoin for booking airline tickets marks the initial stage for partnerships in the country, and they are looking towards increasing the company as well as service tie-ups after this.
Over the past several years, many other carriers around the world—such as airBaltic of Latvia and LOT of Poland—have already been accepting Bitcoin for buying airline tickets.
Travel agencies have made attempts to accept Bitcoin as an alternate payment method, as well.
CheapAir.com was the first of the online travel agencies in the U.S. to accept Bitcoin. It showed record sales of Bitcoins in the beginning of this year, a jump of 74 percent after the agency first announced it would accept this new payment method.
Attractive to Tourists
Inoue’s decision to introduce Bitcoin to Peach’s payment practices has positioned the carrier within thousands of other businesses in Japan to accept the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is becoming more popular, as it offers a digital mode of payment allowing users and tourists from all over the world to make direct transactions without the use of intermediaries, regulators or banks.
Additionally, Peach’s move to accept Bitcoin payment towards flight tickets is particularly appealing to the younger generation of Chinese tourists who are very comfortable with using Bitcoin.
Bubble in the Making
The value of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has continuously increasing. According to reports, it is now valued at almost double the price of gold since the beginning of this year.
The peak in value could be due to political confusions and enhanced interest towards Asia. However, some skeptics state that it could only be a bubble, as Bitcoin is continuing to break records and hasn’t previously shown any signs of slowing down.