Who says that history and tradition are incompatible with cutting-edge technology? Luxury Swiss hotel the Dolder Grand just proved that the two can coexist by becoming the first hotel in Switzerland to accept Bitcoin payments.
The Dolder Grand now accepts Bitcoin
The Dolder Grand was constructed in Zurich in 1897 under the direction of Basel architect Jacques Gros. Beyond its 175 rooms and majestic location, the enchanting hotel is rich in history.
During the war years, members of European royal families would travel to the Dolder Grand to escape the unrest. They could find solace in Switzerland’s neutral terrain.
Post-war, among the hotel’s most famous guests were Winston Churchill, Sophia Loren, Roger Moore, Luciano Pavarotti, and Elizabeth Taylor.
As a member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and the Leading Hotels of the World, despite being well over a century old, the hotel has always prided itself on attracting new clientele and keeping pace with innovation.
Closed for several years while undergoing renovation work, it seems that the mission of the Dolder Grand hotel remains intact.
Starting 1st May 2019, the luxury establishment will begin accepting payments from guests in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This puts the hotel at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption, allowing it to find its place at the cutting-edge again.
We are very proud to have taken a step towards accepting crypto currency.
The Dolder Grand is the very first luxury hotel in Switzerland where guests can pay with Bitcoin.https://t.co/fqE7C0kAA8#bitcoin #Switzerland #Financial #economy #luxuryhotel #thedoldergrand #zurich #new pic.twitter.com/iG8co6KTA7
— The Dolder Grand (@DolderNews) March 29, 2019
The hotel can accept cryptocurrencies thanks to an app from inacta
Guests who wish to pay for a stay at the hotel and spa can choose the cryptocurrency of their choice to settle their bills. It will be willingly accepted by the 129-year-old hotel.
This is possible thanks to a new mobile app called inapay developed by Swiss company inacta AG. The app allows merchants to accept cryptocurrencies and easily convert them into the Swiss franc or the euro upon completion.
Thanks to the instant conversion of crypto to fiat, the hotel doesn’t have to worry about managing the risks associated with cryptocurrency volatility. The new payment method is part of a pilot project with inacta and will be available from 1st May.
If it is successful, it will be rolled out to many more merchants across the cryptocurrency-friendly country.
Head of Crypto Assets at inacta AG Roger Darin proclaimed his faith in virtual currencies, stating:
“Bitcoin will establish itself as a means of payment both internationally and in Switzerland. Thanks to inapay, all kinds of businesses have an easy way of accepting cryptocurrencies without the obstacles traditionally associated with it.”
It’s not often that you associate historical places with emerging technology. Yet, its adoption is in-line with the values that the Dolder Grand has always upheld.
Director of Finance at Dolder Hotel AG André Meier said:
“Many of the improvements in our service in recent years were made possible by advances in technology. As we believe Bitcoin is here to stay, it only seems natural to offer more choices in the payment process.”
Meier further explained that the well-being of guests was “front and centre” of everything the hotel does. Allowing guests as many options as possible to pay for services was another way of offering them a superior experience.
Yet another sign of Bitcoin acceptance in Switzerland
While much of the rest of the world has been slow or even hostile toward ICOs, Switzerland has opened its arms to cryptocurrency companies.
Back in February 2018, its regulatory body FINMA established a clear and flexible framework for holding token sales by publishing guidelines for ICOs.
The astute alpine country has established itself as something of a legal haven for cryptocurrency companies, allowing them to open bank accounts, have legal clarity on token sales and other operations, and have access to necessary resources.
The Swiss Crypto Valley in Zug is home to some 300 or so cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. Its top 50 companies made up some 20% of the entire cryptocurrency market cap in 2018.
FINMA has recently made it even easier for blockchain companies to operate and apply for necessary licenses so that they can compete in financial services in a compliant and legal way.
Beyond becoming an epicentre for blockchain incubators and start-ups, cryptocurrency adoption among the Swiss is on the rise. Passengers can even buy Bitcoin from the federal railway stations across the country.
Switzerland has quickly made a name for itself as being open to bleeding-edge technology. And now, thanks to the Dolder Grand, Europe’s crown jewel is showing that the old and the new can walk side by side as well.