After El Salvador, which adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender earlier this year alongside the US dollar, Switzerland, too, is warming up to the idea of cryptocurrency. Travelling in the country, famous for its alluring cities and scenic train rides that showcase the best of its natural vistas, you can now buy Bitcoin and train tickets from the same machine. The Swiss national railways firm (SSB) has decided to allow customers to buy Bitcoin at its railway ticket machines. Initially, the facility was rolled out at only 1,000 ticket machines but the number has grown since then.
A customer simply needs to have a Bitcoin wallet and a Swiss mobile phone number to purchase Bitcoin from the railway's ticket machines, according to SBB. Customers can buy Bitcoin worth a minimum of CHF 100 (Rs. 8,068) and go up to CHF 500 (Rs. 40,343) and this service will be available to them round the clock.
SBB customers can also buy and store Bitcoin offline – in a paper wallet.
Though the project started earlier, many travellers are now able to trade Swiss francs for Bitcoin via these machines. While the machine can pay out Bitcoins, they won't accept payments made with cryptocurrency, for the time being, according to a report in CoinQuora, an online publication.
The Swiss railway company said that Bitcoin is already accepted at over 10,000 locations worldwide and it enables quick and easy payments without the need for any credit card or bank details.
Despite its extreme volatility, Bitcoin has gained tremendous popularity and acceptance since it was launched in 2009. Bitcoin price in India was around Rs. 40.60 lakhs (roughly $54,291) on Thursday, having gained nearly $10,000 (Rs. 7.48 lakhs) in the past week.
As quickly as it rises, it also crashes with the same speed. In early February, Bitcoin had surpassed $50,000 (Rs. 37.39 lakhs) mark for the first time and then reached its all-time high of around $64,000 (Rs.47.86 lakhs) in April. But the market crashed in May and it lost all its gains. Since September, the crypto coin has begun to show recovery.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts. Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.