2020 has been a year unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdowns it has normalized seem straight out of a dystopian thriller. Amidst the chaos, the travel industry has definitely been one of the sectors to be worst affected as most countries have gone into lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
In a recent episode of the Binance podcast, Travala CEO – Juan Otero and Travelbybit CEO – Caleb Yeoh highlighted the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the travel sector and how crypto may stand to benefit as it gains greater traction. The overall macro-economic scenario in which markets are badly hit and in order to combat that governments have tried their hand at printing new money into the economy may deteriorate levels of trust and value, according to Caleb Yeoh. He argued that this, in turn, is likely to push more individuals towards cryptocurrencies once lockdowns are lifted and the pandemic passes, he noted,
“We’re in unchartered waters, especially with the amount of money the governments are printing. I think this will have an impact on trust people have in the ability of fiat to hold its value. This will drive more folks into Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. So I think overall it’s a good thing for the crypto ecosystem and as a travel service provider that deals with crypto.”
The trickle-down effect is likely to be felt in the travel industry heavily according to both speakers. Crypto adoption has been on the rise in the past few years, with greater infrastructural support for crypto users be it regulations or enhances to the accessibility of crypto in general. Recently, Travala’s native token AVA was added to the list of crypto assets accepted by the cryptocurrency payment processor – CoinGate. Such changes in the industry have also enabled more users the ability to travel across borders while using truly borderless forms of currency.
Juan Otero noted that there is going to be a substantial shift to decentralized models that offer greater transparency and noted that even in the case of loyalty program points users are going to want to have it located on systems that are not prone to external risks and retain value and utility no matter what the situation is. He argued,
“You know, how can we continue to trust these centralized entities and that we rely on basically, for example, with the case of loyalty points. In the case of the AVA token – we have a smart program, which is a staking program that allows users to enjoy particular benefits and discounts when they are within the platform.”
A month ago, it was announced that online ticketing agency Future.Travel based in Vietnam has added support to accept payments in Bitcoin via the Lightning Network. The layered solution in this case acts as a further incentive to opt for crypto as it cuts down on transaction time significantly and provides the major benefits of crypto.