Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, will allow the service because of a partnership with Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) CEO Stig Kjos-Mathisen, whose technology will provide a payment infrastructure that enables Norwegian Air customers to purchase tickets with cryptocurrency. Kjos-Mathisen said everything was "ready to go," and that the feature would be introduced for Norwegian customers later this year, maybe by the spring at the earliest.
The merger is a somewhat familial one, as Kjos-Mathisen is the son-in-law of Bjørn Kjos, founder and CEO of Norwegian Air, who has been involved in NBX since its 2019 launch. The plan was always to incorporate cryptocurrency as a form of payment for flights.
Decentraland, a startup founded in the heart of the cryptocurrency boom, has emerged as a somewhat unexpected financial success for participants.
The startup is a virtual reality world where people have already spent their real money to purchase virtual plots of land and other property. The system went live, finally, on Thursday (Feb. 20), according to Bloomberg. The project garnered more than $20 million during its initial coin offering in 2017, raising the money in only a matter of moments.
Many coinholders are now looking to cash in on their investments in a flurry of trading goods and services via Decentraland's cryptocurrency, called Mana. The token has more than doubled in value this year, though it's still down from the high of 2018.
Virtual land is also being sold at a high volume, with "$1 million in plots sold in the last 10 days, according to data tracker NonFungible." Currently, virtual property is the most popular asset being traded within the Ethereum blockchain.
Mark Murphy, chief operating officer of Digital Currency Group, as well as an investor in Decentraland and Mana, said it was "inevitable" that people would spend a large chunk of time in a virtual world.