The acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payment method is gradually becoming more and more mainstream. The days of it being a niche investment are gone – this is in large part to forward thinkers and innovators outside of the financial space looking to integrate accept digital currencies.
The change in attitude towards cryptocurrencies is only possible if different industries embrace digitisation – this includes the hospitality industry. One company making headway in this space is FIVE Hotels and Resorts, as the company plans to accept crypto payments, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, for bookings. Based in Dubai, the hotel manages close to 1000 rooms across its hotels, FIVE Palm Jumeirah and FIVE Jumeirah Village, on any given day, maintaining occupancy of at least 94 per cent, including through summer and Ramadan. Looking to expand internationally, it has also announced it will be expanding to Zurich, Switzerland, opening a new resort which will also be accepting cryptocurrencies from day one, as legislation in the country permits it.
“We’ve always wanted to be a the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation,” Mushal Nisthar, group director of revenue at FIVE Hotels and Resorts, told The Fintech Times. “With the UAE taking its stance on cryptocurrencies in February, we have continued to look elsewhere to expand our own offering of the digital payments space. One of the countries that has always been at the forefront of fintech and cryptocurrency has been Switzerland. We’ve worked with Oracle and Tide to ensure we are able to offer the best payments features for our guests, and allow them to pay in Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
There are further plans to expand in Dubai too, as FIVE looks to open another resort on Jbr street, the ‘blockchain capital’ of the country. With over three quarters (78 per cent) of its guests under the age of 35, a demographic suggested to own nearly 60 per cent of cryptocurrencies globally, FIVE has tuned itself to tailor to its customer base, setting up in the heart of the crypto-blockchain capital, as Nisthar said, “The positioning of Jbr in terms of the type of consumer that it pulls and the type of attractions it has makes the expansion a huge deal and we’re extremely excited for its launch.”
FIVE has joined the ranks of companies staying ahead of the curve by introducing crypto payments: Prometheus International is just one example of a company selling properties for cryptocurrencies, amassing €4.1million in Cardano. Lamborghini dealerships have also been accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, creating hype and excitement around the new cars, and online luxury retailer BitDials, offering premium brands like Rolex and Patek Phillippe has also started accepting Bitcoin.
All these companies have been able to capitalise on a new customer base – a crypto-savvy one, and as this customer base grows, the companies already accepting crypto payments will reap the most rewards.