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In spite of cryptocurrencies’ volatility and erratic valuations, they garner interest among users and non-users due to the speed of innovation and new ideas. One of the emerging trends to come out of the crypto space is ‘crypto tourism,’ which is a new take on travel that is geared towards crypto users and enthusiasts.
Tourism is a large industry, generating $8.8 trillion in 2018. Southeast Asia, which is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, collectively hosted approximately 130 million visitors in 2018; and this is expected to rise to over 155 million by 2022. Alongside the adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world, it is not unlikely for crypto tourism to become a significant force in the gargantuan tourism industry.
However, as the market for crypto tourism grows, the need for stable, secure, and viable currency exchange platforms catering to the needs of crypto travelers has become increasingly salient. Unlike fiat currency exchange services that are ubiquitous in major tourist destinations around the world, finding those aimed at crypto users may be more difficult as they are not as readily available at this time.
Nevertheless, this is slowly changing as options are becoming increasingly accessible in Southeast Asia, particularly in places such as Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. As these places become more crypto-friendly, several service providers have emerged to give crypto holders a way of visiting without worrying about access to funds.
This article will explore a few of the options available for crypto tourists visiting Southeast Asia.
Coins.ph? – Philippines
Coins.ph is a company based in the Philippines that facilitates crypto remittances. It also allows users to pay bills, take cash out of ATMs, and buy Bitcoin.
- Transactions do not require a local bank account to be executed.
- There’s a simple and easy-to-use UX.
- Users are able to make cash deposits and withdrawals all around the Philippines.
- Facilitates crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto transactions.
- Bitcoin prices are fixed and determined by Coins.ph.
- Transaction fees are higher outside Metro Manila.
Everex ?– Myanmar & Thailand
Everex is a crypto wallet provider and exchange service that allows users to make crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat transactions. They also have their own EVX token which can be used within the platform.
- Allows withdrawals without the need for a bank account.
- The platform provides a well-designed UX that is easy to use.
- Debit/credit card withdrawals and deposits are supported.
- Fees are affordable.
- Some nationalities may not be eligible.
- There are daily withdrawal limits after a certain amount.
Coinhako ?– Singapore
Coinhako is a Singapore-based company that allows users to buy and sell a number of cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- There’s a simple and easy-to-use UX.
- The platform is beginner-friendly and is suitable for those who do not have experience buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
- Provides competitive rates and affordable fees.
- The wallet is secure.
- A local Singaporean bank account is required to access the platform’s full functions.
- There are transfer limits.
Coins.co.th ?– Thailand
Coins.co.th is an exchange service for crypto holders in Thailand and allows them to buy and sell Bitcoin.
- It has a relatively easy set-up structure.
- The exchange rates offered are highly favorable.
- Fees are relatively low.
- The app has a very good UX.
- A Thai bank account is needed to withdraw funds.
- While secure, their KYC procedures may be an inconvenience to users.
Luno? – Malaysia
Luno, a Malaysia-based company, states that it is a cryptocurrency exchange that aims to make buying cryptocurrencies simple and easy. As with other crypto money services, it has its pros and cons.
- Purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies is simple.
- Verification levels are flexible.
- Transactions are peer-to-peer.
- Easy-to-use mobile app.
- Using debit or credit cards to make deposits is not supported.
- Instant buying and selling fees are inconsistent.
The services mentioned are by no means an exhaustive list. There are a number of cryptocurrency exchange services in the region that currently exist or are in the process of launching their services so that crypto holders can enjoy the beauty and enigma that is Southeast Asia.