If you’ve been hard at work mining altcoins, one way to get a well-deserved break while still contributing to the cryptocurrency economy is by kicking back at a luxury waterfront villa in Jamaica.
“We get people from all over the world staying with us. The villas are pretty high-end, and they all come with a full staff, including a cook, housekeeper and butler.”
Blakey’s son, Jon Blakey, came up with the idea to start taking cryptocurrency payments for villa bookings. He is a dogecoin enthusiast (“I’m fully invested in doge right now”), and is mining the dog-inspired currency. He also has a day job working on servers for GoDaddy.
This week, Blakey updated the Island Villas website with a notice saying that the digital currencies are now accepted there. He then submitted the website’s URL to Reddit. Incredibly, he received a serious inquiry into booking the ‘Avalon’ villa, which costs $7,000 a week, to be paid for in dogecoin. He said:
“I literally had the idea yesterday morning. I edited the website, put it up on Reddit. And then I got contacted [about a booking] last night.”
Blakey stated that he had calculated it would cost 3.8m dogecoin to rent the Avalon villa. If the inquirer goes ahead with the booking, then Blakey will accept the dogecoin, convert it to bitcoin and then convert it once more to fiat currency for Island Villa. He plans to give altcoin customers an invoice with a 30-minute payment window to account for the altcoins’ high price volatility.
Blakey said that accepting digital currencies at Island Villas was a reflection of his interest in the emerging digital currency economy, but it also served a practical purpose. Taking bitcoin payments is cheaper than current payment transfer methods like PayPal, he said.
“I figured it was a no-brainer to throw it out there,” he added.
Island Villas manages and rents 30 private properties to tourists visiting Port Antonio in the northeast of Jamaica. The villas range from one-bedroom properties to four-bedders situated on an eight-acre compound. Prices range from $3,000 a week to $10,000 a week. Most of the villas’ visitors are couples and families from the US, Germany and Switzerland, Yvonne Blakey said.
Some of Island Villas’ properties are near the Blue Lagoon, a 170-foot deep body of water fed by a freshwater spring and open to the sea. It was a major hangout of the jetset in the 1950s, attracting the likes of Errol Flynn and Elizabeth Taylor. In more recent years, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz and Rhianna have enjoyed its deep blue waters.
What does Yvonne Blakey, who has been running Island Villas since 2000, make of getting paid in dogecoin?
“I’ve been ignorant about [digital currencies], but just yesterday we had guests from the United States, an older couple couple. I just asked them, do you know about bitcoin? He said, yes, of course. I was amazed. I’ve been asking a few other people and I’m amazed that this is around.”
Jamaica’s love of dogecoin has been in the news recently. The Jamaican bobsleigh team received $30,000 worth of the dog-inspired cryptocurrency in donations this week to further its attempt to qualify for the Winter Olympics. The team was immortalised in a fictionalised account of their debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in the Disney film Cool Runnings.
Featured image: TomashDevenishek / Flickr