We have all been there. It comes to the last day of your holiday and you realise you’ve over done it and bought too much of the local currency. Irritatingly, you’re not always able to exchange small amounts of foreign currency back at home. In the UK especially, most exchange shops will only allow customers to ‘buy back’ their own currency, using foreign notes, so no coins will be accepted.
Here’s an example for you-
You go on holiday to Europe and return to the UK with €50.00, all in notes. In this instance, you simply just go to your nearest bureau de change and exchange the notes for GBP. On the other hand, if you go on holiday to Europe and return to the UK with €50.00 in €1.00 coins and even cents, you’ll be unable to exchange the currency at the majority of bureau de change’s simply because they only accept notes.
Of course, this latter scenario is far more common because of how easy it is to amount small change when on holiday.
Therefore, many holiday makers are left with significant amounts of dead change, money that needs to sit around (usually in an old jam jar) until the next time you travel to Europe. Some airports do actually have foreign coin charity donation points, within which travellers can donate their last bits of loose change, but for those of us who have a lot of loose change left over, it is sometimes difficult to part with the currency.
Well, there’s finally a solution to this problem. That’s if you’re travelling via Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) and have an interest in buying Bitcoin or Ethereum anyway (okay, I admit it’s a niche solution, but it is a solution nonetheless).
According to new reports, Dutch firm ByeleX Data Solutions have installed a cryptocurrency ATM in Schipol Airport on a 6-month trial basis in order to encourage travellers to exchange their leftover foreign currencies for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Tanja Dik, the director of Consumer Products and Services at Schipol has said:
“With the Bitcoin ATM, we hope to provide a useful service to passengers by allowing them to easily exchange ‘local’ euros for the ‘global’ cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum. That can be beneficial if, for instance, it’s not possible to spend euros in their home country.”
This is a really innovative idea and is sure to encourage new investment into the markets, albeit at quite a slow rate no doubt. But, imagine if this proves successful, and more airports of a similar size to Schipol start to introduce such systems to their arrival terminals?
Schipol’s arrival terminals see 106 flight arrivals per hour alone, showing just how many new customers could have access to this Bitcoin exchange ATM. Add just a few more airports on to this list and customers from 1000’s of flights landing at various destinations each hour could be encouraged to exchange their lose change for cryptocurrencies.
In the grand scheme of things, this little 6-month trial, could have a very big impact overall.