Italian Taxi Fleet To Accept Bitcoin
By Bob Garcia
Cooperativa RadioTaxi 3570, the largest taxi fleet in Italy, has more than 3,700 taxis operating on the streets of Rome and provides more than 10 million different rides to its customers every year. This means that the fact that it is now accepting Bitcoin as a way to pay a fare is big news.
Bitcoin users can pull up an app called IT Taxi that looks a little something like the Uber app. It gives a route and a price and an option to pay in Bitcoin through the site of a third party startup called Chainside that provides payment solutions in Bitcoin to companies. Once the customer pays their Bitcoin through Chainside, they are routed back to the IT Taxi app who puts them in touch with a Cooperativa RadioTaxi 3570 cab who will come and pick them up.
Loreno Bittarelli, the president of Cooperativa RadioTaxi 3570 and the founder of the Italian Union of Radio Cabs (URI) – with whom Chainside are partnered with – said of the gradual move to Bitcoin payments that is happening in the Italian taxi market, “Of course, to think that everyone can accept being paid in Bitcoin is hard to imagine, but what we want to walk from this initiative is that we are not as conservative and opposed to innovation as we often describe. We have always seen innovation as a growth stimulus. We want to give a strong signal to our competitors.”