There’s no denying that cryptocurrencies have been making waves on a global scale in recent years – with Bitcoin the most notable player of all. This once little-known online currency, which no-one ever expected to take off, has repeatedly hit the headlines during its meteoric rise, and has been responsible for creating numerous overnight millionaires amongst those who saw its potential early on and recognised it as a savvy opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios.
These days, it’s already become a household name – in spite of the fact that it’s a currency still only used by a small percentage of the population. That percentage, however, just so happens to be an affluent, high net proportion of the population – and as we touched upon recently here at LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, has served as the catalyst for a number of luxury brands, companies and services racing to adopt cryptocurrencies as an accepted means of payment. Not only does this allow for simple, fee free transfers from anywhere in the world, making for a seamless process for clients – but it also lands the recipient with a great nest egg for the future. Not everyone is able to purchase Bitcoin upfront, but if you can exchange it for a product or service, you’re in.
As countries go, Switzerland has been particularly keen to support the currency and to get itself a slice of the crypto-pie. While in other countries, policies have expressed concerns about the craze, citing worries about security, volatility, regulation and a speculative bubble, the affluent alpine nation of Switzerland has long been eager to become the “crypto-nation”.
With the way already paved for businesses to jump on board, it’s no surprise to see some of the country’s most prestigious hotels, car dealers and wine merchants already following suit and starting to accept payments in Bitcoin. Services such as blockchain services company, Inapay provide a simple way for customers to pay in the crypto-currency without having to handle it themselves, and with online retailers like Digitec Galaxus already accepting a range of cryptocurrencies, 2020 could see a new wave of others following suit.
The latest recruits? The Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich, wine merchant House of Wines, and car dealership Kessel Auto – all of whom have grabbed the opportunity with both hands in a bid to attract an elevated and increasingly affluent customer base that will guarantee increased revenue and a boosted reputation, too. With more people making money through cryptocurrency trading platforms like bitcoincircuitnow.com than ever before, it’s a move that could place them streets ahead of the game as the trend continues to gather momentum.
So how exactly to crypto-transactions work? Clients can now pay from the Bitcoin wallets, with transactions being sent via Swiss crypto-exchange, Bity. Bity then converts the payment into traditional currencies and completes the transaction before reverting to the recipient company.
Sound easy enough – and by and large, it is. In fact, it might not be long before we see an array of other luxury businesses and brands in Switzerland follow in the footsteps of Kessel and the like, with everything from hairdressing salons to designer fashion boutiques implementing the tactic. The Inapay application could help to bridge a gap between crypto and traditional currencies in the retail sector, allowing the likes of bitcoin to be used more freely and revolutionising the way we buy and sell our luxury goods.
It’s not just businesses who see the value in accepting cryptocurrencies. There is demand amongst affluent customers, too. Those who have legitimate holdings they’d rather avoid converting to traditional currencies – such as Swiss francs – have made it clear that there should be a place for Bitcoin in today’s market, and other crypto-currencies, too.
As they go more and more mainstream, there’s no telling what the future could hold, and perhaps one day, a variety of different cryptocurrencies will be accepted as standard, all over Switzerland. Should that happen, then it should have no problem attaining that coveted “crypto-nation” title. But, despite its boldness in pursuing such a status, other nations remain cautious.
Even so, should Switzerland manage to make a success of it, then the trend could soon spark action from elsewhere across the globe. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we could become a crypto-world one day in the future – but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Investing in cryptocurrencies carries risk, do so at your own risk and we advise people to never invest more money than they can afford to lose and to seek professional advice before doing so.