Backed with continuing adoption, crypto holidays have become a reality. At this point, flights and hotels all around the world can be booked with Bitcoin (BTC). Still, some cities are more ready to accept your BTC — and major altcoins — than others, depending on the local infrastructure and crypto-related policies.
However, as Gili Gershonok, a crypto nomad who deliberately chooses not to have a bank account, told Cointelegraph, ignoring fiat money while travelling becomes more difficult, as all of the crypto prepaid cards she heavily relied on were canceled in early 2018.
“I feel like more and more barriers are being set against folks who dare to have a lifestyle that’s off the financial grid… The process of going crypto-to-cash is getting more complicated, especially for those who prefer to keep their privacy and avoid high fees — both highly prioritized values across the crypto community.”
All of that being said, Gershonok reassured that traveling with BTC is still possible, drawing a parallel between crypto and casual tourists:
“I don’t think there’s a huge difference in the financial behaviors of [the two]. In Prague, I mostly keep to cash, which I can easily withdraw out of one of many crypto ATMs across the city. I try to find crypto payment options for online transactions and as the cliché goes, for everything else — there’s plastic.”
Gershonok advises those who want to try traveling fiat-free for themselves to start with their current location, and keep security in mind:
“Go crypto for a week in your hometown and see what questions and challenges you come across. It would also be advisable to consider some security scenarios, like, what you would do if your phone, laptop, luggage are lost or stolen — and have contingencies in place.”
As the end of the summer nears, here are some of the most crypto-friendly destinations that might be worth trying.
Prague, Czech Republic
There are over 150 venues where Bitcoin is accepted. There, Bitcoin can be used for renting apartments, paying for food and drinks in various bars and restaurants, or even visiting a crypto-friendly cinema
At state level, the Czech Republic leans toward a liberal approach to cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the local central bank declared that virtual currencies don’t represent a threat to the conventional banking system via an announcement dubbed “Don’t be afraid of Bitcoin.”
While Ljubljana does not necessarily come to mind when thinking of most crypto-advanced cities, the capital of Slovenia hosts a ‘Bitcoin city’, aptly named BTC city, inside itself — a complex with 500 retail stores spread across 475,000 square meters. A special cryptocurrency transaction system called Elipay is set to be integrated into BTC City after a testing round. Nevertheless, a number of cafes, a water park, sneaker shops, etc., have already begun accepting cryptocurrencies. Right now more than 20 venues accept Bitcoin.
In April 2018, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) teamed up with Barbados-based blockchain startup Bitt Inc. to facilitate “the implementation of more efficient payment processes for tourism-related products and services.” Essentially, CTO wants to explore how cryptocurrencies can improve the local tourist industry, which is one of the main sources of income in the Caribbean. Right now more than 60 venues accept Bitcoin payments.
Amsterdam is one of the pioneering cities in terms of virtual currencies. It famously houses the Bitcoin Embassy, a community hub nearby the local sex museum where crypto enthusiasts gather to attend and organize workshops or do social networking in the local cafe. Additionally, there are about 40 more BTC-friendly venues, including a bike rental, among others.
Coinmap shows that there are around 80 crypto-friendly businesses in Tokyo, one of the largest amounts on the planet. For instance, popular conveyor-belt sushi restaurant Numazuko accepts cryptocurrencies, as well as Hackers Bar which hosts live programming sessions, not to count a number of crypto ATMs.
Bitcoin’s popularity in Germany’s capital was highlighted by The Guardian in 2013, back when mainstream culture was dismissing the digital currency as solely a crypto-anarchic tool. In Berlin, Bitcoin can be used not only to drink and eat at local bars and restaurants (more than 50 within the city center area accept crypto), but for more sophisticated things as well — for instance, the European School of Management and Technology located in Berlin has been accepting BTC as a means of payment since December 2016.
San Francisco, U.S.
San Francisco boasts around 120 crypto-friendly venues, being an internationally-recognized hub for crypto evangelists. There’s the famous Crypto Castle, a mecca for crypto traders dreaming to multiply their investments and join the ranks of crypto millionaires, as well as numerous BTC-accepting businesses. In fact, San Francisco is so advanced in terms of crypto that even a local federal court accepts bail bonds paid in BTC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires has been unofficially named the capital of Bitcoin in Latin America. It boasts a surprising amount of crypto businesses — around 140, as per Coinmap — being up in the top three along San Francisco and Prague. According to a local crypto-related media outlet, Buenos Aires has a Bitcoin publishing house and a taxi service among businesses accepting BTC. Moreover, individual professionals like photographers, professors, designers, technicians and psychologists have reportedly been accepting crypto for their services there.