How “Crypto Nomads” are Using Bitcoin and Ethereum to Travel the World
Cryptocurrencies are no more a fringe financial asset that is only used to buy drugs off the Dark Web. It has seeped into the daily lives of many people around the globe to the point that there are many travelers who are traveling the world only cryptocurrencies.
These travelers are not just traveling big financial powerhouses of cities like New York or London but they are backpacking to isolated villages in Nepal. There’s a “network effect,” explains RockItCoin CEO and Founder Michael Dalesandro. The 50-year-old first got into crypto in 2015. Since then, he estimates that he’s seen a 60% year-over-year growth of Bitcoin ATM machine installations. By the network effect, he meant greater accessibility in the crypto financial system.
Here are the stories of 2 crypto enthusiasts who will boost your confidence to travel using cryptos.
Blake Sandall: Digital Nomad and Crypto Trader
Blake Sandall, a digital nomad who trades cryptocurrency while traveling the world, opts for his daily crypto updates as SMS messages, rather than emails so that he doesn’t have to worry about connectivity in spotty locations. He purchases local SIM cards on arrival so that he doesn't have to rely on the internet at cafes or in hostels.
One of Sandall's most exciting trades was when he sold an ethereum coin in early 2018. He made $960 in profit which he used to finance a trek to Everest Base Camp. Pending third-party solutions, litecoin, and ethereum enthusiasts have found workarounds like buying fiat directly or spending at locations.
Around the world with Felix Weis
In 2015, Luxembourg based Felix spent 18 months traveling the world using the only bitcoin, hitting 27 countries all over the globe. His journey featured a mix of hotbeds like Tokyo, Japan as well as less-inclined countries like Cuba, where the lack of high-speed internet makes traveling with crypto a headache.
“At the time it was a small, very small but vibrant community around Bitcoin,” recalls Weis. “It was only in 2017 that it grew to a much larger audience.”
It was 2015 and not one to be deterred, the then-27-year-old transferred all of his savings into Bitcoin (something he doesn’t personally advise), packed a backpack and made these rules to travel.
- He couldn’t use a bank account or credit card. He had a backup credit card in case of emergencies, but cut it up after three months when he decided to go all in on bitcoin travel.
- He couldn’t exchange one national currency into another one.
- Most importantly, he needed to pay with bitcoin as often as possible. If he couldn’t pay with Bitcoin, he could use cash that he acquired with a peer-to-peer trade.
His first purchase was an Interrail Pass for one month, so that if the experiment didn’t work, at least he could get back to Germany, where he was based. He used the website AllForBTC to purchase the ticket. The hard part once I was already in a location was finding groceries or food or restaurants that accept bitcoin,” says Weis.
Things are looking better for crypto travelers now in 2018. Just last month Brisbane International Airport had become the first crypto friendly airport after it received the Travelbybit crypto payment system, making life easier for many crypto enthusiasts. Even many Russian hotels, Bars, and Casinos were accepting cryptos during the Football World Cup 2018.