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Adopting bitcoin could potentially increase your countries pre-pandemic tourist numbers by 400% adding billions in GDP as a way to assist economic recovery over the coming years.

Estimates state 2 billion people are unbanked and 6 billion in total are underbanked. Leaving only 1.5 billion people with access to full service bank accounts with access to international utility and internationally accepted bank cards.

This video shows Andreas Antonopoulos going into detail about this problem;

The problem is not a lack of money it is a lack of identity documents, a lack of a recognised employer, a lack of immigration status, and even a lack of social status in many countries, if you don’t look like you belong inside a bank the guards won’t even let you inside the building. In most of the world banking is seen as an elitist luxury that many are shut out from and if they can get banking they can only get a single currency deposit account with a card that can only be used at local ATMs, these cards cannot even be used to purchase things online let alone overseas. These people have money to spend they just dont have that special card with visa written on the side that allows them to join the rest of the travelling world.

The problem is profound and obvious and cannot be solved by banks even if they try to offer centralised mobile money apps, because these don’t interoperate and dont scale internationally. Bitcoin is the only way to solve this problem.

You cannot travel internationally paying with cash, hotels and airlines strictly require credit cards to start with, and who wants to hold all their holiday funds in cash in their suitcase. So this would suggest only 1.5 billion people on earth have the ability to travel internationally.

Given the global border closures now there are plenty of hard hit tourism based countries that desperately need to boost their tourism sector by encouraging visitors. Turning their economy towards accepting bitcoin as legal tender would essentially open up travel to those other 6 billion underbanked people around the world. Instead of trying to deal with getting a bank account to go on holiday they would need nothing more than a bitcoin wallet to allow them to enjoy a holiday.

Allowing bitcoin as legal tender increases a countries potential number of tourists by five times. That is a huge opportunity.

Take a country that had 100 million visitors in 2019 and now has 5 million. They want to return to that previous number but it will take many years. Allowing bitcoin as legal tender could potentially speed up this recovery tremendously. Instead of taking until 2025 to return to normal tourist levels they could be back to those levels by 2023.

Then there is the fact these 6 billion unbanked people are like an untapped resource that have always wanted to travel but can’t because the headache of banks has always stood in their way. The first countries that offer them the ability to travel with nothing but a bitcoin wallet will benefit tremendously. We see this already with the boost in tourisim to El Salvador.

In summary: If you are a country that wants to boost tourism then turning your economy towards accepting bitcoin would increase your market of potential tourists by five times and tap a cohort of tourists that have always been deprived of international travel.



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5 Comments

  1. Wow this is your second post about this. That people can’t travel because they don’t have banks and docs. Give them bitcoin instead of banks and they will travel the world. Ok.

  2. > The problem is not a lack of money it is a lack of identity documents

    Forgive me if I find this to be a bit biased towards the powers-that-be; the problem is not a lack of identity documents, it is that banks are *asking for* and *insisting on* identity documents.

    You could go a step back and say the problem isn’t that the banks are asking for identity documents, it’s that inherently violent government types are writing laws to threaten banks to coerce them into asking for identity documents.

    “Lack of identity documents” shouldn’t be a crime in any sense, in any situation.

    The war on privacy and anonymity is just warming up though…

  3. I’ve seen what massive increases in tourism do to communities. It’s not really something people should want.

    Initially, it’s a boon. Real estate prices rise, businesses have more customers, employees are easier to find. Eventually, prices start to increase then get out of control. Traffic becomes heavily congested. There are increased demands on the municipality for services leading to higher taxes. Nobody can afford to live there anymore. People start moving away, starting with the youngest. The people who benefited initially from higher values on their real estate have crippling property tax bills, and if they sell, they won’t be able to afford another home in the same community – so they too have to leave. There are huge increases in crime. Services become scarce because providers have either left or become so expensive nobody but the rich summer-home owners can afford them.

    The only people who benefit are the tourists. but the community loses.

What do you think?

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