Right in the heart of the vibrant Catalan capital, Barcelona, on the corner of the famous Plaça de Catalunya, sits the Cardano Boutique Hotel Ginebra––widely recognized as the first business in the world ever to accept ADA.
Colloquially known as “ The Cardano Hotel”, Hotel Ginebra started accepting ADA as a payment way back in 2017 after Alfred Moesker, one of the owners, discovered Cardano. As it did for many, it started by being introduced to Bitcoin by a friend. After experimenting with Bitcoin and realizing some of its flaws—namely, taking three days to send a transaction—he discovered and explored altcoins, which led him to discover Cardano.
The simple one-pager Alfred read on Cardano acknowledged that there were problems in the existing technology and proposed fixing them in an academic manner. This one-pager contained a picture of Charles Hoskinson and another, also academic-looking, a person who stood out to Alfred as decidedly different in a world full of self-hyping crypto bros.
Alfred decided that these two had the right idea.
After some more digging Alfred found Charles’ Cardano Whiteboard video and was blown away. He chatted with the friend who had introduced him to Bitcoin about Cardano, and he suggested that Alfred should start accepting ADA, as he believed there was no one yet accepting ADA. So that’s what they did.
When Alfred Met Charles
After setting up a wallet and adding information on ADA payments to their site, they sent a tweet to IOHK, who, in turn, sent someone to the hotel to make sure it was legitimate. Off the back of this, they were invited to the 2018 IOHK Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where they had dinner with Charles and received a—quite possibly, highly animated and excited,—private blockchain lesson.
At that Summit, it was announced that the Boutique Hotel Ginebra in Barcelona was accepting ADA as a form of payment. This drove an incredible amount of excitement around the hotel that continued until, unfortunately, and like so many others, the hotel’s doors were shuttered in March 2020 by the emergence of a global pandemic.
The hotel bore the financial hardship and storm that battered the hospitality industry during that time and came out the other side stronger, as the Cardano Boutique Hotel Ginebra!
Accepting ADA isn’t Alfred or the hotel’s only contribution to the Cardano network. Alfred runs the Cardano Hotel Podcast out of the office in the hotel and supports the decentralization of the Cardano network as the operator of the HOTEL stakepool.
In 2021 the hotel hosted a meetup for the 2021 Cardano Summit. By then, the hotel had been tastefully decorated with Cardano-themed artwork, featuring the likes of Charles Hoskinson and Ada Lovelace.
An Inspirational Story
So, what started as an exploration into a new technology by a seasoned hotelier evolved into becoming the first business in the world to accept ADA! That then evolved into supporting the Cardano network by operating a stakepool, and helping to spread the Cardano message over the internet’s airwaves with a podcast!
Alfred can still be found on the ground at the Cardano Boutique Hotel Ginebra, just steps away from the beautiful Plaça de Catalunya in the center of Barcelona, spreading the word about the Cardano mission to all those that ask about it, and he and the Cardano Hotel are always ready to welcome visitors!
Watch Alfred’s Virtual Tour of the Cardano Hotel.