Italians in a rush can now call on bitcoin to get them where they’re going.
One of Italy’s largest taxi fleets, Cooperativa RadioTxi 3570, now accepts bitcoin for fares. The company recently joined hands with Chainside, a startup that allows businesses to accept bitcoin payments. Customers can download the Chainside app to their mobile phones or smart devices and pay their fees through the quick touch of a button.
The company provides taxi services to anyone visiting a large Italian city. Whether it’s Rome or Venice, tourists and travelers can get their sights on with a little help from digital currency. Passengers have the option of paying for their rides in advance while meandering the urban streets. Once a payment is made, customers are emailed receipts which they can show to taxi drivers as proof of payment.
Bitcoin’s acceptance amongst taxi companies may be in response to Italy’s recent Uber ban. The ride-servicing company was shoved aside by the Italian Union in June last year after it was decided Uber created “unfair competition” for local taxi drivers throughout the region. In order for a taxi company to operate within Italy’s borders, they must hold a license and fall under the country’s general legislative rulings. Uber typically drivers do not require commercial licenses to operate their vehicles or assist passengers.
Company president and founder of the Italian Union of Radio Cabs (URI) Lorenoo Bittarelli expressed his thoughts on the steady and gradual move towards bitcoin in Italy:
“Of course, to think that everyone can accept being paid in Bitcoin is hard to imagine, but what we want to walk from this initiative is that we are not as conservative and opposed to innovation as we often describe. We have always seen innovation as a growth stimulus. We want to give a strong signal to our competitors.”