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Norwegian Air to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency for Ticket Payments

2 mins
Updated by Daniel
Norway’s biggest airline, Norwegian Air, will soon start accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method for ticket purchases. Bjørn Kjos, CEO of the airline, said that plans for a cryptocurrency exchange called Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) have also been drawn up.
While cryptocurrency payments will go live sometime this fall, the exchange will reportedly be ready as early as August. NBX will be integrated into the Airline’s reward program and customers will be able to earn by trading on the exchange.

Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air to Own a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

The exchange will start operating for Norwegian customers next month and will be gradually launched in neighboring countries later on. After the exchange launch, NBX will create a payment solution for the airline, which will allow customers to pay using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Stig Kjos-Mathisen, the head of the newly launched exchange, said that customers will earn “cash points” on trades in the exchange and on payments for airline tickets. Observatoriet Invest, the company responsible for building the exchange raised over $250,000 in its first capital round, and plans to connect air cargo to blockchain technology. He added that
“there is a need for a serious marketplace where one can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.”
Kjos-Mathisen said that he is looking at this as a great way for the airline to save some money. He also said that provisions such as customer identification could reduce the marketplace’s chances of being indirectly involved in money laundering and terror financing. He seemed optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency, saying that when companies start trading cryptocurrencies instead of private individuals, the industry will take big leaps forward.

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Kjos Family Embraces Cryptocurrency

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, Kjos’s son, Lars Ola Kjos, motivated him to explore the cryptocurrency market’s potential. Lars bought around $400,000 of Bitcoin prior to November 2017. He has been working with the airline for many years now. He is also a board member of the Norwegian Block Exchange that is owned by the Kjos family. Norwegian Air’s cryptocurrency operation is likely part of the company’s diversification efforts. Since April 2018, the group’s shares have fallen by 75 percent. Its finances still appear to be in trouble due to growing competition from transatlantic airlines in the long haul market. Norwegian Air, however, is not the first travel company to go the cryptocurrency route. In May 2018, CheapAir became the world’s first travel agency to accept Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash as a payment method for flight and hotel bookings. The agency has notably already been accepting payments in Bitcoin since 2013. Do you think Norwegian Air’s crypto push will keep the company from financial doom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.