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Exploring 40 countries with Bitcoin: The truth about traveling the world using BTC

Exploring 40 countries with Bitcoin: The truth about traveling the world using BTC
Paul L.

As Bitcoin (BTC) continues to grow in popularity, it is being adopted for use in various fields, including as a form of investment and payment. 

Proponents of the cryptocurrency believe that to be widely accepted, Bitcoin must continue to find more use cases as individuals and entities establish new ways of utilizing the asset.

One fascinating example of Bitcoin’s use comes from Paco de la India, a traveler who has embarked on a journey to see the world using only Bitcoin. In a recent interview with the crypto e-commerce platform Bitrefill, Paco discussed the realities of global Bitcoin adoption, his memorable experiences, and the road ahead for the widespread acceptance of the digital currency.

It’s worth noting that Paco’s travel worldwide has been made possible by community crowdfunding. At the time of the interview, Paco had already traveled to 40 countries across South America, North America, and Africa. Here are notable insights from his travels: 

#1 Bitcoin adoption and volatility 

Paco’s experiences highlighted the challenges facing Bitcoin adoption in the countries he has visited. He painted a rather bleak picture, noting that the market’s inherent volatility has made people hesitant to rely on Bitcoin. 

Instead, he observed that stablecoins like USDT are more popular among locals, who prefer to HODL their Bitcoin rather than use it for everyday transactions. In this case, it became challenging for him to spend Bitcoin in select areas. 

“Bitcoin didn’t provide that stability to many people during what I saw. <…> There is more adoption of stablecoin called USDT; people are more happy to use USDT rather than to use Bitcoin. <…> They are more about HODLers,” he added. 

Overall, he pointed out that adoption is taking place gradually, but there is a need for accelerated efforts. 

#2 Bull market generosity 

According to Paco, people are generally generous during the bull market, which made it easier for him to receive donations. However, things became more difficult during the bear market, translating to reduced contributions. Notably, the traveler began his journey while Bitcoin traded at around $50,000 and hit an all-time high of almost $69,000.

“Bull market people are really generous. Bitcoin price when I started was almost $50,000, and it went up to like $65,000. Things were coming in; everybody was very happy life was going good, but slowly and gradually, it started trickling down. The company started backing out people started going out. <…> I was unable to go that freely, that’s why I was always looking for people to host me in their houses, and that also gave me an insight into what local people are,” he said. 

#3 Regulatory impact  

Interestingly, he cited that his journey was interrupted by the regulatory uncertainty that affected some of his sponsors. 

Specifically, he pointed out that the shutdown of peer to peer trading platform Paxful affected him. It is worth noting that Paxful services have since been restored. 

Looking ahead, Paco noted that he intends to continue his mission while helping set up new Bitcoin communities. He pointed out that educating people is the core of advancing Bitcoin adoption, especially in regard to utilizing the maiden crypto in daily transactions. 

Watch full interview below:

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