While dodging the droves of consumerist masses at Disney World this past week, it became obvious to me that digital currencies are a growing trend in today’s world. Why would I make this connection in the most magical place on earth? Simple – it’s called the Disney Magic Band.
At first glance, you might mistake the Magic Band for a child tracking device and/or prisoner ankle shackle. But upon closer observation, it’s anything but. In fact, it’s your literal keys to the kingdom while in the house of mouse.
This bracelet gets you into the parks, rides, rooms, & resorts. But most importantly, the Magic Band automates the payment process in Disney World. Simply link your Magic Band to your credit card while checking in and you will be able to pay for everything simply by lining up your wrist with the payment sensor at every vendor on “campus”.
Yes, cash and credit cards are still accepted, but the Magic Band brings a new level of convenience for the consumer and for Disney. The consumer experiences quicker and more efficient checkouts while Disney automates the entire payment process in addition to gaining access to the best data analytics you could ever ask for in a business. Think if you could track your customers movements, payments, and overall habits with a “magical” band? Brilliant.
With that being said, I rarely saw cash or even credit cards being exchanged in the parks when people were paying for their 5th churro and 10th cream cheese pretzel. They were relying on the Magic Band…a completely automated and digital way to enjoy your vacation.
Today you can only link your Magic Band to a major debit or credit card…you know, those that charge anywhere from 3%-5% for their use? Now imagine if the Magic Band could link up to a bitcoin wallet for instantaneous and low cost transactions? Bitcoin beats ACH deposit on speed and the major credit / debit cards on cost.
In my opinion this is another move by a major corporation to pivot towards the possibility of digital currencies while maintaining serviceable roots in the legacy system. The big money is building their infrastructure in a way that allows them to pivot to something like bitcoin very quickly when the time comes. When that time does arrive is anyones guess. But when the paradigm shifts companies like Disney will be prepared.