Schiphol airport, the main international airport of the Netherlands and the third busiest in Europe in terms of passenger volume, has announced that it would facilitate the exchange of leftover euros for Bitcoin or Ethereum at a ‘Bitcoin ATM’. This would make Schiphol the first airport in Europe to offer such kind of service.
Bitcoin ATM finds home at Schiphol
As of now, the Bitcoin ATM at Schiphol is for a six-month trial and would explore whether there is demand for this service among passengers. The Bitcoin ATM is strategically located in Arrival Hall 2 which is also in the corridor to Departure Halls 1 and 2, as this is the location where the majority of the passengers walk through. The placement also permits the airport to offer visitors to Schiphol Plaza the chance to exchange their euros for Bitcoin. This trial is carried out in collaboration with the Dutch company ByeleX Data Solutions BV, ‘The Byecoin Company’.
To quote Tanja Dik, director of Consumer Products & Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
“Schiphol is constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide optimum service to passengers,” “With the Bitcoin ATM, we hope to provide a useful service to passengers by allowing them to easily exchange ‘local’ euros for the ‘global’ cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. That can be beneficial if, for instance, it’s not possible to spend euros in their home country.”
By doing this Netherlands is also protecting the travellers from the forex risk ones take due to dynamic price movements of currencies while entering and exiting a country. As cryptos, are a global currency and have decentralized valuations there is no central bank to randomly change bitcoin valuations or charge any fees for conversation. Due to its decentralized nature, the bitcoin rates are free from geopolitical influence and international borders.
Netherlands- a front-runner in working with bitcoins
Netherlands, was one of the first countries to come out and state that it was not feasible to ban cryptocurrencies but definitely would want to bring it under its regulatory purview. Netherlands, mainly Amsterdam has been really friendly with bitcoins and has allowed tourist to use the cryptocurrency in its city limits. This was one of the reasons the Bitcoin Foundation also picked Amsterdam to host its Bitcoin 2014 conference. The city has earned the name of “bitcoin capital of the world”. So if you are a tourist carrying Bitcoin to Amsterdam you could do following things with your crypto wallets.
- Travelling: Well airlines ticketing websites such as AirBaltic, Air Lituanica, BTCTrip and CheapAir that operate in and around the city airports accepting payments in the digital currency.
- Accommodation: The city is loaded with hotels that which are bitcoin friendly. Have a look at easyHotel Amsterdam City Centre – located in the “De Pijp” district and Cocomama hotel, a boutique hostel. The leading web portal Expedia. Also accepts crypto payments for booking hotels in the city.
- Sightseeing, Eating and Shopping: The city has various options to do what every tourist does in a new city by using bitcoin. There are plenty of eating and shopping options that accept bitcoins.
In addition to this Amsterdam also has 11 of the country’s 20 bitcoin ATM’s allowing tourist to convert their fiats to cryptos and vice versa as and when they need it. With such a friendly environment for cryptos, it was just a matter of time that the city would provide the same at airports for outgoing tourists.
Will this step by Schiphol Airport, change the way tourist carry currencies in and out of a country? Will other airports follow the suit? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.