Bitcoin Comes to Aviation
I received a press release this morning from Star Jets International. As part of the release, Star Jets announces that is will now accept Bitcoin as a payment mechanim for its private jet services. While bitcoin has been used for quite a few years, this is the first time I have heard of it being used in aviation.
For those that are unfamiliar with it, bitcoin is a digital payment system. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow users to make financial transactions outside of the "traditional" banking institutions. Cryptocurrencies are supposedly more secure than traditional financial transactions and allow for more anonymity (privacy). You can learn more about bitcoin on Wikipedia by clicking HERE.
Will bitcoin's acceptance grow in our industry? Will we soon see flight schools accepting bitcoin for flying lessons? Will Part 147 schools accept bitcoin payments by students? Will repair stations and FBO's eventually jump on the bitcoin wagon?
I guess time will tell!
Regarding the evolution of the way we make financial transactions, did you know that the aviation industry was the earliest adapter of credit cards? According to Wikipedia, "In 1934, American Airlines and the Air Transport Association simplified the [credit card] process even more with the advent of the Air Travel Card. They created a numbering scheme that identified the issuer of the card as well as the customer account. This is the reason the modern UATP cards still start with the number 1. With an Air Travel Card, passengers could "buy now, and pay later" for a ticket against their credit and receive a fifteen percent discount at any of the accepting airlines. By the 1940s, all of the major US airlines offered Air Travel Cards that could be used on 17 different airlines. By 1941 about half of the airlines' revenues came through the Air Travel Card agreement. The airlines had also started offering installment plans to lure new travelers into the air. In October 1948, the Air Travel Card became the first internationally valid charge card within all members of the International Air Transport Association."
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