Bitcoins were the hottest topic in the digital world, a bit sexy because it was the preferred currency of Silk Road…

 

… well it was until the “Dread Pirate Roberts” hung out with the Mormons and then China said “bitcoins aren’t real” and kinda banned them.

Traditional financial institutions breathed a sigh of relief as they weren’t quite ready. But now big brands such as Commonwealth, UBS, RBS, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to name a few are investigating block chain technology. It’s going to happen.

shutterstock_440366560

Blockchain is the technology that underpins Crypto currencies like the bitcoin; a stack of interconnected computers spread around the world which are collectively very tough to hack.

The blockchain is to international money transfer what Skype is the telephone. It changed stuff. Quickly.

 

And I care because….

It is expensive to move currency from one country to another. It’s a bit slow. Often you can only bank in a currency if you have a business venture set up locally to qualify for a local bank account. This is why only some big companies trade in smaller destinations because their size means they can afford to be there

But that can all change. Including in travel.

 

Worldwide Bitcoin ATM’s

Bitcoins have in part become a virtual exchange portal. A crypto money application is worldwide Bitcoin ATMs that convert money from Bitcoin to local currency through a crypto exchange.

Rather than paying exorbitant credit card fees or exchange rates to change dollars into Baht, there is now an instant, real-time platform that can do this for you. At a fraction of the cost.

Say hello to the “smart contract” – a great article here on the Sydney morning Herald.

 

It is impacting travel

“Cheap Air” were the first travel company to adopt crypto currencies back in 2013 and quickly racked up $1.5 million sales of flights, but plateaued out. The reason? It’s a new way of thinking about money so therefore, you’ve got to have infrastructure based around digital currency, not dollars that we are used to using. Got to free your mind Neo.

Multinational disruptors like Uber and AirBnB stand to gain from savings in transferring money from one country to another, or from one individual to another. In fact just about any payment, whether it be large or small, in bulk or singular, would benefit from real-time currency conversion and settlement without those pesky middlemen regulating everything.

 

But block chain technology goes further

Because of its inherent security, trust and how tough it is to hack what chain can provide security verification, passport checks, hotel reservations, health checks. Lost your wallet?  Validate via an online blockchain linked to your DNA.

 

But now?

It’s still a bit cute, it’s still a bit science-fiction. But it’s fast moving. Mainstream acceptance seems to be the next big challenge to rypto currencies. But fortune favours the brave. An industry that moves people around the world stands to do very, very nicely indeed. If only they can evolve.

Who is going to be first on board?