Bitcoin users in Argentina have one more way to spend their crypto holdings following the launch of a public transport card that accepts bitcoin top-ups.
Reports on Friday, February 8 revealed that Argentineans can now pay for public transport using their Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico (SUBE) card loaded with bitcoin funds.
The development comes after two firms partnered to make it possible for the public to use BTC.
The partnership is between Alto Viaje (a platform that allows users to add money to their SUBE cards) and Bitex (a blockchain-driven financial services provider). Following this deal, crypto holders who wish to load their cards with bitcoin can do so by visiting Alto Viaje’s website.
Manuel Beaudroit, the chief marketing officer at Bitex, said that using bitcoin is a big move for SUBE.
The popular card is used in Argentina to pay for travel on trains, buses and the subway. He added that the card had been issued to more than seven million people across 37 locations in the country.
Prior to this partnership, Alto Viaje had only allowed users to load money onto their travel cards using online payments giant PayPal. However, as well as Bitex, the platform will also work with Argentina-based digital payments platform Rapipago to make card-loading as easy and accessible as possible.
According to Beaudroit, the partnership is primarily targeted at giving people within the country an easy and wider access to bitcoin’s “revolutionary technology.”
The SUBE, a contactless smart card, was launched in February 2009, and initially used within Buenos Aires and a few other major cities. The technology behind the card is provided by Argentina’s national bank, Banco de la Nación Argentina, via its subsidiary Nacion Servicios S.A.
In the U.K. a leading public transport firm has also partnered a blockchain startup to use crypto in rewarding travelers for sharing their travel data. The startup, Go-Ahead Group Plc., will work with DOVU to use a token dubbed DOV to reward the travel company’s rail customers.
Many Argentines have turned to bitcoin in the last two years as a result of the financial crisis that has seen inflation rates skyrocket as the national currency Peso loses value.
Accordingly, transactions volumes on LocalBitcoins continue to soar. And in the last couple of months, many more have begun using Bitcoin ATMs, whose numbers have also increased tremendously.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.