The Dutch were always among the first ones to adopt new technologies. When it comes to blockchain, that is not an exception — quite the contrary. In that sense, we have the Netherlands’ biggest airport putting a Bitcoin ATM on its premises to allow passengers to exchange their leftover euros for Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The first European airport with a Bitcoin ATM
With this move, Schiphol is the first airport on the Old Continent to offer such service. And this is important since Amsterdam’s main airport also happens to be one of the busiest in Europe, from where you can fly to many places around the world. It is one of Air France – KLM’s hub airports, after all.
“Schiphol is constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide optimum service to passengers,” Tanja Dik, director of Consumer Products & Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, said in a press release. “With the Bitcoin ATM, we hope to provide a useful service to passengers by allowing them to easily exchange ‘local’ euros for the ‘global’ cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. That can be beneficial if, for instance, it’s not possible to spend euros in their home country.”
The Bitcoin ATM at Schiphol is in a six-month trial aimed at exploring whether a demand for this service exists among passengers. Said ATM is located in Arrival Hall 2, which is also in the corridor to Departure Halls 1 and 2, with many departing passengers walking by this location. The placement additionally offers visitors to Schiphol Plaza the opportunity to exchange their euros for Bitcoin.
This initiative comes as a result of cooperation between Schiphol and the Dutch company ByeleX Data Solutions BV, aka “The Byecoin Company.”
“We are excited that Schiphol is willing to join us in exploring ways to introduce passengers to the new crypto-reality,” ByeleX director Herman Vissia said in a statement.
Not the first “crypto airport” in the world
For what it matters, Schiphol is not the first airport in the world with a “crypto offering.” Previously, we have seen the Brisbane Airport in Australia teaming up with crypto startup TravelbyBit to add cryptocurrency payments as an option to shop while in the terminal.
Under that deal, the two parties have worked with terminal retailers to let them accept payments in cryptocurrencies, enabling passengers to spend their Bitcoin, Dash and Ethereum holdings while at the airport.
“Many people around the world have made money investing in cryptocurrencies and a lot of these people travel internationally, so it makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals,” Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) General Manager Strategic Planning and Development, said at the time. “We’re also proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve this in partnership with a small local start-up business such as TravelbyBit, whose pioneering thinking is drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking.”
Hellemons went on to add that this is not the end of the airport’s crypto-efforts and that we should “watch this space.” And watching, we will…