Bjorn Kjos, the billionaire owner of Norwegian Air Shuttle, intends to launch his own Bitcoin exchange before the end of 2018. 71-year old crypto-fan Kjos also wants Norwegian Air Shuttle to be the first airline in the world where passengers can purchase tickets using cryptocurrency.
Back in April, the CEO of the highly successful Norwegian Air Shuttle, Bjorn Kjos announced he had launched the Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX). The company was created to explore potential opportunities that lie in blockchain and ledger technology. NBX will also be announcing a cryptocurrency exchange later this year, and soon hope to be open a new business in which passengers can purchase their tickets for Norwegian Air Shuttle using cryptocurrency.
Building Ecosystems in the Airline Industry
Stig Kjos-Mathisen is Kjos’ son-in-law and chairman of NBX, and yesterday (June 8) he had this to say about those impending projects:
“We’re look at things that are easy to scale. Among other things, having a crypto currency as payment option in the airline. We see that there is a need for a serious marketplace where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.”
“One of the most important thing for us is to build an ecosystem around the solutions we develop. In particular, the ecosystem within the Norwegian group is important, but also ecosystems in the airline industry.”
About Norwegian Air Shuttle
Founded in 1993 by Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian Air Shuttle is something of a rarity in modern commercial aviation – a success story. The airline, dubbed “Norwegian” is currently the largest carrier in Scandinavia, the third-largest low-cost airline in Europe, and the ninth-largest low-cost carrier in the world. Norwegian flies more than 30 million people across 500 routes and to 150 destinations in 35 countries. Norwegian currently operates in Europe, the US, North Africa and the Middle East.
Norway And Crypto
Norway’s relationship with cryptocurrency has taken a little while to get off the ground. The two got off to a bad start when Norwegian crypto exchange Bitmynt AS lost a lawsuit against Nordea Bank. However, acceptance and even integration appear to be on the rise: in 2017, Norway’s largest Internet-based bank Skandiabanken allowed its customers to link their bank accounts with their crypto Coinbase accounts. In addition, Skandiabanken has adopted Bitcoin integration and even proposed that a state-issued cryptocurrency may be a genuine alternative to cash in the future.
In May of this year, Norway’s largest bank – DNB ASA – announced a partnership with IOTA and is currently exploring ways of implementing the use of new technologies such as IOTA’s “Tangle.”