Peach Aviation, the Japanese low-cost carrier owned by Japan’s largest Airline, ANA, becomes the first in the country to allow fliers to pay for tickets with bitcoin.
In a first, a Japanese airline will accept bitcoin for tickets amid the rising popularity of bitcoin in the region. Announced today, Peach’s decision to accept the world’s most popular cryptocurrency comes following a handful of significant recent legal changes.
Chief among them is Japan’s classification of bitcoin as a recognized method of legal payment after passing bills to underline digital currencies as the digital equivalent of paper money last year. Come July, Japan will now longer impose the 8% consumption tax rate on bitcoin buying through exchanges. All of which has led to Japan becoming the world’s leading market for bitcoin trading in recent months.
The airline is aiming to soar on bitcoin’s popularity by collaborating with local governments and companies in Japan to help ‘spread usage’ of bitcoin, the company told reporters in Tokyo on Monday. There’s plenty of momentum for such a cause, with up to 260,000 Japanese retail storefronts set to accept the cryptocurrency this year.
A month ago to the day, the government of the Japanese city of Hirosaki began accepting bitcoin donations toward the preservation of a historic cherry tree park. ‘At Hirosaki-city, we consider bitcoin donations as a great opportunity to attract tourists from overseas,” stated a city official at the time.
Peach chief executive Shinichi Inoue sees similar benefits in adopting the cryptocurrency, particularly to make the airline an appealing choice for wealthy Chinese tourists who represent a population that has adopted digital payments like no other.
“We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions,” Inoue is quoted as stating by the Bloomberg, with the announcement to accept bitcoin.