Taxi? Just pay by cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency payments to be used for fares in 20,000 taxis in Scandinavia and 10,000 in UK
Classification & Data Collection / May 13, 2021
By Ben Spencer & Adam Hill
Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain © Znm |
Taxi payments can be made using the Ethereum blockchain (© Znm |

Fintech start-up Hips is to enable payment with some forms of cryptocurrency in more than 20,000 taxis in Scandinavia and 10,000 taxis in the UK.

Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens with which transactions can be made via a digital ledger called a blockchain.

Hips has linked up with The Payment House, which specialises in payment processing for taxi companies in Scandinavia. 

Their solution – planned for a beta roll-out in November 2021 – will use the Hips Merchant Protocol (HMP) and Hips Merchant Gateway (HMP-gateway) over Ethereum, which currently has a market value of $483bn.

Perhaps the best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but this will not be usable via Hips' system at present.

Merchant Token (MTO) and US Dollar Coin (USDC) will be the only tokens available to pay with - but support for other cryptocurrencies will be evaluated after the beta time period, the firms say.

Hips CEO John Cavebring says: “With this important partnership, Hips provides another avenue for crypto payments to have market penetration. The consumer-oriented features of the MTO will further allow cryptocurrency to gain worldwide mass adoption among mainstream consumers.”

Cryptocurrencies are creating huge interest at the moment among private and institutional investors, with tokens such as Dogecoin - which began as a techy joke but has risen in value - receiving widespread publicity after Tesla founder Elon Musk asked whether Tesla should accept it.

However, Musk has just tweeted that Tesla 'has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin', citing environmental concerns: cryptocurrency transactions require significant amounts of electricity, much of which is still generated using fossil fuels.

Some experts have pointed to the potential for a cryptocurrency bubble and emphasise that only money investors can afford to lose should be put at risk.

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