Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and the Hospitality Industry


What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. In other words, a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, are linked and secured using cryptography.

Blockchains are secure by design, and eliminate a middleman (big banks or government) - which makes them enticing for certain industries.

How is Blockchain Tied to Cryptocurrency?

Simply put, Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the U.S. dollar. The main difference is that it is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, which is one of the oldest and most well-known cryptocurrency. Others include Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Monero.

What Industries will be Disrupted?

Technically, any industry that deals with data or transactions of any kind could be disrupted by blockchain technology. But there are some industries where it will be more prevalent. While the hospitality industry itself may not be impacted for a number of years, certain aspects of the industry could potentially be, including:

  • Payments & money transfers

  • Cybersecurity

  • Forecasting

  • Supply chain management

  • Cloud storage

  • Loyalty programs

  • Human resources

So...What’s My Next Move?

Blockchain has been making steady progress from a startup concept to an established currency in a short amount of time - so the worst thing you can do as a business owner or operator is sit passively on the sidelines.

Some retailers and services have already been accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for some time. As cryptocurrency grows in popularity and becomes more widely accepted as a legitimate form of currency, restaurant operators need to simply be aware. Though too new for (many) restaurants to move forward with accepting this form of currency, it is a hot topic across many industries and worth keeping an eye on.

With global business and the economy in a good place, more companies are willing to take calculated risks. Even if the industry is light years away from accepting cryptocurrency, it’s important to educate yourself on innovations (not limited to blockchain) and stay curious about the latest technologies and trends in the market.