By Spacehuntr’s creative content director Harry Prince:
Cryptocurrency is largely spoken of in the public sphere as something exciting to trade for profit. In fact, as many as 13% of Americans alone invest in cryptocurrency, with an average investor having invested $1,003. So, it’s big business.
But this mysterious entity does have real-life uses and applications. Is there a future for cryptocurrency in the MICE industry?
Spoiler alert: Yes, there is!
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are just like traditional trading currencies. However, there are two major differences that set them apart from what’s come before.
Firstly, they’re not tied to international banks. This means that it has more independence from state and private control.
Secondly, every transaction has to be verified by a ledger using what’s known as blockchain technology. In short, this means that each cryptocurrency transaction is traceable. You can’t hide it, and you can’t launder it.
How can cryptocurrency benefit the MICE industry?
This first point might be a superficial one because it is: it can benefit the MICE industry. After all, they’re new and exciting. And the MICE industry can cash in on that right now.
Advertising your event as crypto-friendly will draw in lucrative clients. Leading from the front, the world’s largest cryptocurrency conference series – Blockchain Expo – has more than 56% attendees at director level or higher.
Spacehuntr CEO Dietrich Moens said that embracing cryptocurrency should be a key strategy for any startup that wants to attract young talent. “It’s clear that the events industry is looking to get involved in crypto. We’re jumping the gun by accepting crypto payments for our event venues,” he said.
And moving on to more practical issues, the beauty of cryptocurrencies is that they are 100% traceable. This has solid value to the MICE industry as you can prevent ticket fraud, identity fraud and increase accountability in the supply chain.
For example, it will revolutionise the ticket sale landscape. It will stop bots from block buying tickets, protecting the secondary ticket marketplace in gouging scenarios. So, it allows you to control ticket prices effectively. With blockchain technology, every ticket purchase can be genuinely verified. Plus, it protects people from buying fakes.
What’s the catch?
As we mentioned earlier, cryptocurrency is like any other. Its value can drop or rise, and it has been much more volatile during its short history than traditional forms of currency.
Secondly, crypto is still in its infancy. Although everybody has heard of it, it’s still not widely used. So, its influence on the MICE industry is a notion of the (near?) future. This could give companies in the MICE industry like Spacehuntr a ‘first mover advantage’ if they’re prepared to embrace it quickly.
Thirdly, there are concerns about the eco-friendliness of cryptocurrencies. For example, the computer power needed to verify and log transactions for Bitcoin has a high carbon footprint. However, as the related technology develops, this will be reduced.
And, finally, the thing that makes it so brilliant – security – is also a flaw. Blockchain technology and its ledgers take a lot of computing time and energy to verify. So, for an online transaction that can be instantaneous using traditional currency, a cryptocurrency can take much longer.
That being said, moves are being made to counter this with payment protocols such as Lightning Network. So ultimately, it’s an issue to be ironed out, not a fatal flaw.
Despite some teething problems, there is indeed a future for cryptocurrency in the MICE industry. It not only brings in lucrative clients, but it also attracts exciting new talent. Plus, it guarantees security to your ticket sales and supply chain. And the best part is, its benefits are yet to be discovered!
Belgium-based Spacehuntr is an online platform to book and manage the most unique meeting and event spaces that stimulate innovation and creativity. See spacehuntr.com