Want to Pay for Your Stay with Cryptocurrency? Head to Vir Island

Daniela Rogulj

December 3, 2019 – With ninety-six apartments offering advance payment and reservations via cryptocurrency thanks to the blog Ostrov Vir, and given the size of the island, its population, and the number of accommodation units, Vir has become one of the world’s leading providers of crypto services.

HRTurizam reports that this story was recently published by the Czech portal Arbolet, whose internet team provides consulting and work in the crypto market. Arbolet member Václav contacted Miriam Kelečić, who runs the Slovakian blog Ostrov Vir and mediates apartment rentals on Vir to tourists from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, so the island’s crypto market is almost immediately open to members of this community.

“I thought for a long time about using cryptocurrency payments, but did not know the area well enough. This is where Mr. Václav helped me the most,” says Miriam, thanks to whom accommodation on Vir can now be paid by cryptocurrency, that is, by booking through Ostrov Vir. Those 96 apartments paid in cryptocurrency represent 2.51 percent of the total Vir accommodation capacity, consisting of 3,819 accommodation units. In fact, the percentage in foreign exchange is higher because the number of apartments is an absolute figure of 100% occupancy with payment by card or cash, which means that the share of cryptocurrency in foreign exchange by the summer season will surely be even higher.

Miriam is the most influential promoter of Vir in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and through her work and bringing the Travel Channel television team to Vir, the island has opened to the booming Slovakian tourist market. The Vir influencer and blogger at the same time represents the Slovakian and Czech apartment owners associations on the island of Vir, some of whom have already started receiving payments for cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, and USDC. According to Arbolet, the service is connected to the Coinbase Commerce system, whose user interface is simple, intuitive to use, and extremely easy to understand.

Cryptocurrencies, known as virtual or digital currencies, only exist online; it is not issued or controlled by any central bank. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, also known as digital gold, and is globally accepted for online payments. There are several bitcoin ATMs in Croatia today – in Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka, and the popularity of bitcoin usage is also being contributed by entrepreneurs, such as those on Vir, who accept it in online payments for tourist accommodation or other services.

Apart from cryptocurrencies being used for online payments, they are traded like any other currency. Thus, the value of bitcoin nine years ago was $0.003 USD, and more than $9,000 last year. Today, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies and new ones are emerging almost daily. Some survive and grow, some fail, but the growth of the crypto market is persistent. Thus, more and more online stores are offering cryptocurrency payments, while digital wallet owners are looking for deals where they can exchange their cryptocurrency units for products or services.

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