The visa and passport processing firm will allow its user to pay for the services using Bitcoin
Peninsula Visa, based in San Jose, officially announced it would be introducing Bitcoin as a payment method to its services. The addition of Bitcoin as a payment form will speed up the process of getting a US passport.
Users will be able to obtain passports in as little as one month. The company noted that Bitcoin would be accepted in select passport services. The payment feature is supported by Coinbase Commerce.
“Offering travellers the ability to pay via Bitcoin feels like the right move at the right time,” said the company’s COO Evan James. James went on to add that he was looking forward to seeing travel and other transport activities return to normalcy soon.
The majority of the State Department’s passport agencies in the US were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This happened as many government offices closed starting March. The disruption in normal routine resulted in hold-ups and inconveniences in passport processing.
The LA Times reported a pileup of about one million passports as of the end of September. That has, however, changed as many agencies have started opening with several State Department’s offices back in operation.
On November 3, the agency issued a statement that standard applications would take between 10 and 12 weeks. The process of expedited passports, on the other hand, would take anywhere between four and six weeks. Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, passport processing took a week.
The addition of Bitcoin as a payment method is a step in the right direction, considering not many government agencies have embraced the idea. Private entities have in the past shown their willingness to adopt crypto payment forms — something that has not been witnessed on the government side.