We’ve been hearing about paying for mundane, everyday necessities like parking and gas using cryptocurrencies for over 3 years now, but it hasn’t managed to take off, until now.
Take this Reddit thread from three years ago that asked:
“Will Bitcoin ever be used for gas pumps, parking meters and pool tables?”
All things considered, we think Tritonx may need to change his username to @Cryptodamus.
Because now, in 2017, we can finally pay for airport parking and electric vehicle charging. We haven’t quite figured out gambling, but insurance is close enough.
So, without further ado:
Three Everyday Things you can Pay for with Cryptocurrencies (Finally):
1. Airport Parking in the U.S.
Top Airport Parking, a parking provider for the massive Denver International Airport, now accepts Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and more than a dozen other cryptocurrencies.
Will this latest push into the airport scene pay off?
Could Top Airport Parking be the “bigger merchant” taking notice that @tritonx mentions? Or, at least, could this be a way for cryptocurrency use and adoption to “reach critical mass?”
We’ve been hearing so much about the success and rising value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, we think it’s about time.
In fact, Top Airport Parking accepts over 50 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum (other parking meter forays into blockchain have been limited to Bitcoin, which might explain why the venture didn’t quite catch on).
Why test this out in Denver?
Covering almost 53 square miles and serving almost 60 million passengers a year, Denver has the biggest airport in the U.S. and the 18th busiest airport in the world. Positioned at the entrance of the famous Rocky Mountains, Denver also serves as a hub of transportation for much of the High West region of the United States.
In other words, there’s room to grow. There’s room to try out new things you can pay for with cryptocurrencies.
Denver itself is becoming an attractive alternative to Silicon Valley, and the contemporary feel and environmentally responsible construction of DIA make it an ideal place to test out these trendy currencies.
Charlotte, NC is another city with a little bit of a tech-startup-related reputation and accompanying infrastructure. Now, PassportParking is now enabling customers to use Bitcoin to pay for their cloud parking services.
Thanks to PassportParking, these things you can pay for with cryptocurrencies in Charlotte have been available since 2014, and apparently, some people see it as a more secure alternative to other payment methods. They are only allowing Bitcoin right now, unfortunately, so it may be sometime before this purchase method really catches on.
Surely, Charlotte’s cryptocurrency-accepting businesses will have to be more flexible.
For the future, Noson, Inc. and Top Airport Parking plan to get more airports on board and be as flexible, or accommodate as many cryptocurrencies, as possible.
2. Electricity in Germany
Speaking of everyday things you can pay for with cryptocurrencies, how about Germany, where renewable electricity is on the rise and you can pay for vehicle charging electricity with Ethereum?
Carsten Stöcker, a Senior Manager at Innogy Innovation Hub, confirmed that “100s of EV Charging Assets all over Germany [are] Blockchainified. E2E Product using asset-backed Crypto-EURO for payments.”
Seems like a great move considering Ethereum (ETH)’s performance over the past few weeks.
How is Ethereum doing?
Short answer: killing it.Ethereum's value went from $1 billion USD to $7 billion USD in just one month.Click To Tweet
Investors are still cautious, as they tend to be with cryptocurrencies, but it would seem this is a good cryptocurrency to keep an eye on.
Last week, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies rose $10 billion USD in just one week.
Ethereum is a huge part of that, increasing its value from $1 billion USD to $7 billion USD in just one month earlier this year. What’s more, the ETH subreddit saw more users online in one day in May than both of Bitcoin’s subreddits combined.
What are some of the limitations of this German initiative?
For one, they are, like PassportParking in Charlotte, limiting themselves to accepting only one cryptocurrency. If you want more things you can pay for with cryptocurrencies in Germany, they’ll have to get more flexible as well.
3. Insurance in South Korea
The future will make accounting and compliance synonymous, which is something that we’ve seen in motion since the 2008 financial crisis. In many ways, Blockchain and other FinTech were created to facilitate this trend.
One goal of Blockchain has always been transparency. The hope is that greater transparency with regard to the handling of finances will cut down on corruption.
Insurance is a prime candidate for deploying this tech because data security and patient data privacy are arguably more difficult and more important than ever, and accounting will only become more of a nightmare as more people become insured. At least we’ll be able to make robots do that work for us.
Kyobo Life, a government subsidized insurance company, is operating the first ever trial of blockchain-enabled commercial insurance payments. Along with the Korean National Information Agency under the management of South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Kyobo Life will work alongside blockchain startup theLoop, InsurTech specialist D Lemon, and medical record service company One in implement the trial.
This is a major step forward for South Korea who is actively moving its country toward taking advantage of an IoT infrastructure.
How’s that for things you can pay for with cryptocurrencies?