Norwegian Air is a low-cost carrier that is now working on setting up the company’s own cryptocurrency exchange, which should be operational by the end of 2018.
A brand new company was launched, Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX). It is going to be responsible for operating and building the crypto exchange, together with managing different blockchain based initiatives that the airline has. The only shareholder for NBX at the moment is Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian Air CEO and founder. His son-in-law, Stig Aleksander Kjos-Mathisen is leading Norwegian Block Exchange. He used to be Norwegian Air’s Head of Manpower Planning.
Kjos-Mathisen did not reveal much about the new cryptocurrency exchange. However, he did say that the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world will be available, with Ethereum and Bitcoin being certainties. He went on to explain that he believes more companies are going to accept crypto payments in the future. His words were:
By establishing a marketplace ourselves, where we can determine the appropriate level of KYC (know your customer) and customer due diligence, we can mitigate the risk of market actors unknowingly or indirectly getting involved in money laundering or terrorist financing. We are looking into things that are scalable. This could be things like accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for airline tickets and making use of blockchain technology in our air cargo business.
Obviously, 2018 so far was not great for cryptocurrencies. However, the new exchange CEO is definitely optimistic and is looking for the future. He even expressed the fact that in the future we are going to see increased trading volumes in the crypto market as companies “start to get involved in trading.”
At the moment, the news does not stand out as being particularly important for the community because there are numerous companies that are interested in getting involved in the crypto industry. However, the fact that an airline, specifically a low-cost one, is actively building a platform that uses cryptocurrencies is very interesting. We are looking at an airline that actually thinks the problems that cryptos have are temporary and that transactions for tickets can be viable with Bitcoin or Ethereum.