Travelling with Bitcoins instead of foreign currencies?

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We’ve been hearing a lot about Bitcoins lately, but you may still be wondering what is this strange currency that isn’t subject to any of rules of the traditional banking system? Is it safe to use? Here’s guide to Bitcoins and some advice if you are considering to use cryptocurrency for your next journey abroad.

So, what’s a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a virtual currency, which doesn’t exist physically. As all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin relies on a transaction encryption system. Each transaction is given a unique code that is to be sent to a receipt address. The recipient must, then, unlock this code in order to receive their bitcoins. All users of the Bitcoin network are connected through a peer-to-peer system, which makes money transfers much faster than through the traditional banking system. All transactions are hosted on blockchain, a public account register, which all users have access to and where they can approve transactions in real time. With this decentralized system, a transfer of bitcoins might take less than two minutes while a banking transaction may take up to two days.

Would it be worth it to use bitcoins while travelling overseas?

As of now, there aren’t many traveling agencies, transportation company, hotels and vacation complexes using and accepting Bitcoins, while some are starting to accept Bitcoin payment, it remains a rare occurrence. We’ve yet listed for you three perks of using Bitcoin while traveling abroad.

  • No transaction fee: Bitcoin is an international currency. When you’re transferring money overseas, you have to pay for transaction fees. With Bitcoins, there is no such fee. The funds are directly transfer from your Bitcoin address to your recipient’s.
  • Quick transfer: when you’re excepting an international transfer, it can usually take up to a few days until you see the money appear in your bank account. With Bitcoins, it’ll only takes a couple minutes to transfer and receive the funds.
  • No intermediary: when you’re booking a flight or purchasing goods online, your payment will necessary transit through an intermediary, a bank. Not with Bitcoins. Bitcoins transit solely from one person to another. No third party involved. An alternative which offers far more privacy to its users than banking. Using cryptocurrency, however, can pose higher risks due to the lack of control and regulation from any legal institution. Fraud may occur.

The number of Bitcoin outlets is increasing you may find them with your search engine. Now that we’ve listed some of the perks of using Bitcoin, we are going to name three disadvantages:

  • Bitcoin is not very well-known: not a lot of places accept payment in Bitcoin, not to say very few
  • Lack of control and stability: Bitcoin exchange rate can be relatively varying and unstable. The currency is not subjected to any form of control form of state control, transaction frauds may occur. You should be very careful when using cryptocurrency.
  • Lack of insurance: most bank cards come with insurance. A perk you do not get when using Bitcoins.

How does it work?

If you’d like to join the Bitcoin community, the first step is to buy a Bitcoin wallet. It’s an e-wallet where you’ll find keys that will allow you to unlock transaction codes. Bitcoins become your property after they’ve been unlocked. Your e-wallet allows you to create a new box for each transaction.

This article was first published by Europ Assistance Belgium. Discover more insight here: http://blog.europ-assistance.be/