With the biggest footballing event on the planet right around the corner, Saint Petersburg is preparing for an influx of tourists from numerous different nations.
With the biggest footballing event on the planet right around the corner, Saint Petersburg is preparing for an influx of tourists from numerous different nations. The total attendance of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was over 3.4 million, and these numbers are expected to make the trip to Russia as well. Money exchanges in the various Russian cities hosting the matches will be busier than they have ever been, and the multinational event may help more people realise that a singular global currency could be the way forward. Some hotels in the country are already preparing to accept bitcoin payments to help things go more smoothly, and there is a chance that Saint Petersburg may decide to follow suit.
Hotels in Kaliningrad Ready to Accept Bitcoin
Hotels in Kaliningrad are preparing to welcome guests from over eight countries, and have come to the conclusion that allowing bitcoin payments will help things run more smoothly. The newly constructed Kaliningrad Stadium which was built for the upcoming World Cup will host matches between Croatia and Nigeria, Serbia and Switzerland, Spain and Morocco, and England and Belgium. The idyllic city will thus become a mixing pot of different nationalities, and bitcoin payments will seem like a good option to many.
The hotel chain Apartments Malina recently announced that they had teamed up with the online payment system Free-Kassa to be able to accept bitcoin payments. Manager Anna Subbotina said that she believes the innovative technology will one day go mainstream, and she feels that her customers should be given the option to pay for their rooms with it. Free-Kassa’s development director Vitaly Lavrov said that the “hospitality industry is sensitive to such trends.” However, due to the company’s collaboration with Petersburg Social Commercial Bank, there is a chance that hotels in Russia’s second-largest city may follow on in Kaliningrad’s footsteps.
Bitcoin’s Rocky Road to Acceptance
Even though bitcoin was invented in 2009, it is only in recent years that Satoshi Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency has become well-known across the globe. For years, few people bought into the idea of an internet currency which operated without a central bank. People tend to be cautious about new things, especially where money is concerned. Even payment giants like VISA and PayPal took time to gain the trust of the public. Although bitcoin is yet to fully take off as a method of paying for things, it has attracted a large number of people as an investment opportunity.
Amateur investors have watched the price of bitcoin slowly rise over the course of its existence, and there are many stories of bitcoin millionaires who have managed to turn virtually nothing into a small fortune. In 2017, there was a huge increase in the number of people speculating on bitcoin, which led its price to rise to record highs at the end of the year.
Bitcoin was suddenly being compared to gold by outlets like Business Insider and used as a safe-haven asset when other fiat currencies were fluctuating. In December 2017, the cryptocurrency’s value soared to nearly $20,000. According to Betway Casino, banks and gambling sites are continuing to tread carefully despite this surge in popularity. At the moment, there are many coins struggling for supremacy. These include bitcoin-inspired options like Litecoin and Ethereum. Businesses may be waiting to see which one ends up reigning supreme before jumping on to one of them.
Saint Petersburg Should Follow Suit
The World Cup represents a prime opportunity for businesses to test out accepting bitcoin payments. While the hotels in Kaliningrad have said that they would only adopt the cryptocurrency for the tournament, if it is a success, they may decide to continue in the future. And if bitcoin does one day become a global currency used by all, these businesses would be ahead of the curve.
Hotels in Saint Petersburg are yet to announce whether they will be accepting the e-currency for the summer competition, but there is speculation that they may decide to follow Kaliningrad’s lead. The fact that Free-Kassa has a deal with PSCB is one indication that this could come to fruition. The stunning city will be the venue for matches between Morocco and Iran, Russia and Egypt, Brazil and Costa Rica, and Nigeria and Argentina, before playing host to the round of 16, one of the semi-finals, and the third-place playoff. Because of this, there will be huge waves of people looking for hotels in the city.
If one of the biggest cities in Russia begins accepting bitcoin during the World Cup and it proves successful, it could spark a snowball effect which is seen across the world. The cryptocurrency has been waiting for a major event to push it forward, and the World Cup could be that catalyst.Facebook Tweet Linkedin Pinterest Google + Interested in becoming a Contributor?