Luxury yacht service The Advantaged Yacht Charter and Sales in Miami Beach has received its first booking paid for in bitcoin.
The company officially began accepting bitcoin in October last year, but only made its first booking, paid for with the digital currency, last week.
The company has a total of 26 boats in Miami Beach which it rents out, starting from $1,200 for four hours up to $18,000 for the most extravagant packages. Each one comes complete with a captain, a stewardess and a fruit and cheese platter.
Jessica Londono, co-owner of The Advantaged Yacht Charter and Sales in Miami Beach, was at the conference, as was her first bitcoin client. She explained:
“[Gallippi] just literally said a small little blurb about us, then my client went on and Googled me, saw the website, saw we accept bitcoin and then called me."
Londono was able to effortlessly process the transaction for her client's $2,500 charter using BitPay.
“It was literally the easiest transaction I’ve ever done,” she said. “I’ve co-owned the company for about nine years and this transaction took less than one minute."
Londono sent her client an email with the contract for his charter and the BitPay address. “It’s so much easier than any credit card transaction I’ve ever done," she added.
As well as being a much quicker process, accepting bitcoin is also cheaper for vendors, as payment processors such as BitPay require a nominal charge in comparison to credit card charges. Londono said:
“American Express charges about 3.5%, which we lose out of our profits. Bitcoin is essentially free, depending on what service you use.”
Using bitcoin also makes the booking process simpler for Londono’s clients.
Londono first got into bitcoin in March 2012 through her “Apple genius husband”. Now her company, which also deals in yacht sales, is in the process of completing its first boat sale in bitcoin.
She stresses bitcoin is not simply a get-rich-quick scheme for her; it’s about exposure. Going to networking events like the Miami conference has been an opportunity to meet other eager people within the bitcoin community.
“I go to networking events on a daily basis trying to promote my brand, but it was so refreshing to go somewhere where every single person was so happy to talk to you and explain what they do,” she said.
“Everyone’s so excited about bitcoin that it’s just a pleasure to go ahead and get more involved and have more people be part of the bitcoin community.”
She hopes more vendors in South Florida will start to accept bitcoin payments soon.
“We have so many people with foreign currency that this would be an easy way to just unify us all.”