In the last few years, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been on a meteoric rise. Not only have their values risen significantly, but more and more, businesses have started accepting Bitcoin for payment – including charter yacht brokers like Worldwide Boat.
For charter guests, Bitcoin offers a number of advantages for paying for charters. The digital currency, for one, is peer-to-peer, meaning that transactions remain private. It’s like a cash transaction – but with the ease of digital processing. Plus, digital payments are fast, they’re free from third-party interference, and have little-to-no transaction fees.
Are you considering booking your next yacht charter with Bitcoin? We’ll highlight some of the advantages, the risks, and what you can expect when using Bitcoin for yacht charters in this short guide.
What Is Bitcoin?
In the simplest terms, Bitcoin is a form of digital currency. It’s decentralized, and peer-to-peer – meaning there is no central bank. Anyone can transfer Bitcoin from their wallets, aka “accounts,” to businesses or fellow users instantly, and the transaction is entered into a centrally viewable transaction record.
Bitcoin is very new. It was launched in 2009, and has steadily gained fans and users along the way. In fact, today, more than 16 million Bitcoins are in circulation.
How can you acquire Bitcoin? There are a number of coin exchanges, in which you can purchase Bitcoin with your own money. Purchasing Bitcoin is a lot like exchanging currencies – you trade dollars (or Euros or whatever currency you use) for Bitcoin, based on the going exchange rate.
Once Bitcoin have been added to your wallet, it’s yours; there are no banks. And you can begin to transfer money or pay for goods and services with it. In fact, Bitcoin has reached the yachting industry, as you’ll see a number of yacht industry businesses already accepting the currency for booking and even yacht sales.
Why Use Bitcoin for Yacht Bookings?
Bitcoin sounds a lot like making a credit card purchase or making a wire transfer. So why use it for paying for your charter booking?
Well, as a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin does offer a few advantages over traditional payment methods. There’s the ease of use, fewer fees, and many prefer the privacy Bitcoin offers. Here’s a look at a few key advantages:
Once you own Bitcoin, it’s not controlled by a traditional bank. Instead, it’s much more like having cash in your pocket – but cash you can transfer to anyone, anywhere in seconds. This means payments can be made discretely and privately. The peer-to-peer blockchain network makes payments untraceable, which is important for people who want to keep their travel expenditures private.
2. Fast Set Up
You can set up a Bitcoin “wallet,” purchase coins on an exchange, and make a payment in a matter of a couple of minutes. Setting up bank accounts, on the other hand, requires a lot of paperwork, and may even require approvals and documentation.
3. Favorable Exchange Rates
Bitcoin – much like any fiat money – is valued against other global currencies, and in the past six months, Bitcoin’s value has risen significantly. It was as high as $20,000 per Bitcoin in late 2017. Therefore, a stronger Bitcoin is advantageous for yacht charterers – as they may be able to part ways with fewer Bitcoin to book a charter.
4. Few Transaction Fees
Wire transfers and credit card processing fees can be very expensive, adding additional expenses onto the cost of booking. An advantage of Bitcoin – there are little-to-no fees. You can transfer money internationally, without having to exorbitant rates.
5. Fast Transfers
Finally, Bitcoin transfers can take as little as a few seconds up to 10 minutes (if you wait for approval). That’s a key advantage for charter bookings. No need to wait for bank approvals, or to call your bank to authorize a transaction. You can transfer money to your Advance Provisioning Balance or your yacht broker almost instantly – helping to alleviate any third-party delays.
Are There Risks?
As a new, burgeoning digital currency, Bitcoin remains volatile, and that might be the most significant risk. For example, in mid-December 2017, the currency was valued at just under $20,000 USD per 1 Bitcoin. By mid-January, the exchange rate is about $11,650 per 1 Bitcoin.
In other words, there can be swift fluctuations in the cryptocurreny market. Also, security can be an issue, but if you choose a well-regarded coin exchange provider, you can avoid many of the security risks.
All in all, the currency – albeit new – is easy to use and understand, and thanks to the blockchain structure, it remains highly secure. By following the market, and using reliable currency exchanges, you can minimize the risks.
Worldwide Boat Now Accepts Bitcoin for Yacht Charter Bookings
Starting in February 2018, Worldwide Boat accepts Bitcoin as a payment method for yacht bookings. Whether you’re off to the Caribbean for a winter charter, or you’re planning your summer in Croatia, now you can use Bitcoin for fast processing, greater privacy, and fewer processing fees. Contact your Worldwide Boat charter broker now to learn more.