New York is to allow passengers to buy bitcoin in domestic and international flights, a move that would open up a market for the digital currency.
The New York City-based airline, which is the world’s busiest, has been experimenting with bitcoin for several years.
“We have been talking about bitcoin for a while and it’s a technology that is really disruptive,” New York-based executive vice president of operations Jim Knepper told The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s an entirely new way of doing business that’s different from everything else that we do.”
Bitcoin is used to buy and sell goods online, with the value fluctuating over time.
In a recent study by CoinDesk, it was valued at $3.6 billion.
“In the last year, we’ve been really exploring this idea of bitcoin being a technology for commerce,” Kneppers said.
“That’s the reason we’ve brought Bitcoin on board as a technology and we’re hoping to bring it into our flights in the future.”
Knepps told the newspaper that the New York Department of Financial Services will soon publish regulations that will enable the use of bitcoin for payments, among other uses.
“This will allow people to buy or sell bitcoin, but not just to use it as a currency,” he said.
Kneppets travel agency is the largest in the US and has operations in several countries including China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The travel agency also has offices in the UK and the US.
The airline has had a limited presence in New York, but it is expected to open an additional hub in the city this summer.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more experimentation on this because we have so many different airlines and so many customers that we want to cater to,” Kneepper said.
Bitcoin is used as a payment method for online shopping, and online purchases are becoming increasingly popular with travelers, many of whom use the cryptocurrency to avoid high transaction fees.
Kneeppers said that the company was considering how it could integrate bitcoin into its business model and make the technology available to other travel services.
“If we could get that technology into our business model, that would be fantastic,” he added.
“And I think if we could bring that technology to other parts of our business, that’s a great way to take advantage of the growth that we’re seeing.”