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In a first in the country, Japan’s Peach Aviation announces it will start accepting payments in bitcoins

The airline is expecting the move to encourage more and more international tourists to visit the country

Japanese aviation company Peach Aviation will soon become the first airline in the country to start accepting payments in bitcoins for booking flight tickets. As part of the announcement made on Monday, the move is intended to help the airline attract more customers and tourists from all over Asia. Although several other airlines in the world have already started accepting the cryptocurrency as a mode of payment, this is the first time for a Japanese one to do so.

CEO of Peach, Shinichi Inoue, said in a statement that the airline wishes to encourage visitors from overseas and help contribute to the revitalisation of Japan’s regions. The move is intended to be the first step towards future partnerships with governments, regional companies, and service tie-ups, for the company.

Inoue also added that it was a change in Japanese law involving fund settlements in April which made it possible, and that by the end of 2017, bitcoins would start being accepted for booking seats on the airline, and he hopes that it would also lead to an increase in the usage and popularity of the cryptocurrency.

The currency owes its popularity to the fact that it is a digital payment system that bypasses any kind of interference from intermediaries, governments, regulators, or central banks, and lets users carry out transactions directly from anywhere in the world. Three years ago, Latvian airline airBaltic had announced its plans to start accepting payment in bitcoins as a way of focusing more on its customers, and since then, the currency has been adopted by many others.

Additionally, bitcoin has also been experiencing a surge in its value, because of which it had reached $1,700 by May 9, and rose by 13 percent to a record height of $2,187.78 on Monday, May 22, currently valued at about 70 percent more than the price of an ounce of gold. However, critics believe that it is only experiencing a bubble growth at the moment, and would soon correct itself to a lower value in future, while others claim that it is due to investors getting on board with the cryptocurrency, and that its value will only keep rising. 

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