Cryptocurrency appears to be taking off at the Denver International Airport (DIA). Thanks to San Francisco startup Top Airport Parking, the airport has begun accepting cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, bitcoin, and about 50 other cryptocurrencies as payment for discounted parking spots currently priced at $3.99 daily. They’re normally about $25 per day, so these rates swing in the best interest of cryptocurrency users. According to the Denver Post, thousands of the spots are within a 10-minute drive of DIA.
Patrick Murray, CEO and President of Top Airport Parking, tells ETHNews that the company started out as a service to make airport parking more efficient and affordable for customers and that cryptocurrency integration wasn’t among the original objectives of the startup. However, he acknowledges the company’s direction changed as he saw potential in the technology.
“I wish I could say that we were planning on accepting cryptocurrencies from our inception, but it was something we overlooked,” he said. “I kind of fell out of the loop on following the movement, but was recently rejuvenated with Ethereum and the possibilities it created with code that is Turing-complete.”
Those looking to use cryptocurrencies can complete their purchase in three steps. All the user has to do is complete an online reservation, send a cryptocurrency payment with a valid email, and within five to 10 minutes, the airport reservation is received. Murray explains that all eligible cryptocurrencies were chosen based on market demand.
“We weighed this for a while and decided if we were going to be somewhat of a late adopter of accepting cryptocurrencies (at least in our group of friends), we might as well try to be as inclusive as possible. So any altcoin that CoinPayments accepts that we think is stable, we will accept.”
Although Colorado has also experienced a rise in the popularity of cryptocurrency due to the state’s thriving marijuana industry, Murray explains it was Colorado’s prominence as a national tech hub that was the primary inspiration behind pursuing cryptocurrency use within the state.
“We really appreciate Denver’s tech scene and think there are many early adopters that may want to purchase some parking with Ether (or 20,000 [D]ogecoin they forgot they had).”
In the near future, the company will be looking into the potential of blockchain technology to possibly leverage the company into the future for bank usage and ticket reservations. However, for now, the company is focused on integrating the cryptocurrency payment system into airport parking lots throughout the country, using PIT, BOS, LGA, and PVD as the “next test markets.” Furthermore, Murray tells ETHNews that the startup is looking to expand exponentially within the coming year.
“We plan to be in 30 US airport markets by the end of 2017 while consistently making it easier for our travelers to park near the airport. We will be integrating with new technologies that make the experience even simpler, and you [may] actually see us in an airport near you.”
Dan is a US Army veteran and Los Angeles-based writer passionate about science and technology, current events, human rights, economic impacts, and strategic calculus. Dan is a full time staff writer for ETHNews.