The smartest minds and smartest companies in the world are not only dealing with cryptocurrencies, but they are also bringing synergetic forces to finance a wide range of amazing solutions. One of these solutions: reducing travel time and solving traffic jams. For example, companies such as Tencent and Freigeist are funding Lilium, a German start-up company, to develop the first all-electrical vertical take-off five-seat flying taxi.
Lilium, a Munich-based company, promises to enable passengers to travel five times faster than by car. Lilium’s mission is to introduce “the world’s first all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet: an air taxi for up to five people. You won’t have to own one; you will simply pay per ride and call it with a push of a button. It’s our mission to make air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding a car.”
Lilium promises to end traffic jams. “By traveling through the air you’ll be able to avoid time-consuming traffic jams while enjoying a magnificent view,” says the company website.
Lilium reports that it has already secured US$90 million Series B funding round. Members of the funding group include Tencent, LGT Banking Group, Atomico, and Obvious Ventures.
Flying Taxis, Blockchain, and Bitcoin
Entities funding Lilium’s flying taxi enterprise have direct or indirect connections with Bitcoin, blockchain, and other digital currencies.
“Tencent believes that the third big change is brewing with Bitcoin and its underlying technology – the blockchain entering the scene,” Investopedia reports.
Thus, using blockchain-based technology, Tencent, the giant Internet enterprise, is developing the TrustSQL platform to provide “enterprise-class block chain infrastructure, industry solutions, and secure, reliable and flexible blockchain cloud services,” according to Investopedia.
Tencent has long been involved in initiatives involving cryptocurrencies, such as Q Coin and Kin. Moreover, Tencent’s Wechat Pay which is incorporated into the Wechat app, is one of the major Chinese mobile payment services. Wechat lets users perform transactions in Bitcoin. For example, OKCoin, a major Bitcoin exchange, allows users to use Wechat to trade Bitcoin.
Moreover, according to Lilium’s press release, Freigeist were Lilium’s seed investors. Freigeist (formerly e42) also invests in Outbank, a multi bank app that integrates Bitcoin. “Outbank allows users to manage and overlook their bitcoins in the same app as their regular bank accounts,” states the company website.
Bitcoin Rides the Skies
So, will Bitcoin be soon one of the payment options of the flying taxis?
Bitcoin is already riding the skies. For example, the Daedalus Drones offer its services for Bitcoin. Daedalus is one of the first drone services companies to accept the cryptocurrency.
AirBaltic and Polish Airlines LOT already accept Bitcoin payments. Airbaltic claims to be the first airline to accept Bitcoin as payment. Cheapair.com also declares itself to be the first online travel agency to accept Bitcoin.
Recently, additional air traveler companies are moving forward to accept Bitcoin, such as BITPoint Japan, a company linked to Peach Aviation Ltd. According to Peach CEO Shinichi Inoue, through this initiative, “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions,” Bloomberg Technology reported.
Smartest Minds, Smartest Companies, and Bitcoin’s Blockchain Technology
MIT Technology Review has named Lilium CEO, Daniel Siegand, as one of the Innovators Under 35 of the year 2017.
Tencent is considered one of the world’s smartest companies in 2017. According to an MIT Technology Review report, Tencent is 8th, while Alibaba is 41th. The first spot goes to Nvidia, a chipmaker that also produces cryptocurrency mining products.
Flying taxi services represent innovation. So, the question is, will these smart minds and companies develop innovative, expeditious, and secure payment applications for their new business model? If so, we can look forward to seeing Bitcoin play a predominant role as a payment option in the flying taxi business.