Australia is one of crypto-savvy countries that is trying to cash-in on the rising crypto-tide. Simply put, it doesn’t want to be left behind now that hundreds of millions are pouring into the blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related initiatives.
And so we were not surprised to learn that one of the country’s airports has decided to add cryptocurrency payment as an option to shop while in the terminal.
When travelers arrive at or depart from Brisbane Airport (BNE), they will soon experience an “unprecedented digital currency airport experience,” according to the official announcement.
BNE along with terminal retailers is working with TravelbyBit to bring decentralized blockchain enabled payments into its terminal shopping. This in turn will make it possible for passengers to spend their cryptocurrencies — such as Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and others — while at the airport.
Among stores that will accept crypto-payments are Botanist, Spoon, Windmill & Co., and Forte Espresso, as well as nine awpl stores including Australian Way, Merino Collection, Carry On, Dreamtime Journey and multiple News Travels across both terminals.
The move is part of Brisbane Airport’s campaign to promote community projects, support local businesses, improve the passenger experience, and become a leader in the airport digital innovation space.
“Many people around the world have made money investing in cryptocurrencies and a lot of these people travel internationally, so it makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals,” Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) General Manager Strategic Planning and Development, said in a statement. “We’re also proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve this in partnership with a small local start-up business such as TravelbyBit, whose pioneering thinking is drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking.
Hellemons went on to add that this is not the end of the airport’s crypto-efforts and that we should “watch this space.”
On its end, TravelbyBit has built a network of merchants throughout Brisbane who take payments in digital currencies. Said network includes airport transport services, luxury hotel accommodation, and food and entertainment venue in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, which has been rebranded by locals as “Crypto Valley.” Overall, more than 20 merchants in the area now take digital currency payments.
“We are building a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies in the tourism industry. The application of digital currencies in this sector makes a lot of sense,” noted Caleb Yeoh, CEO of TravelbyBit. “Whenever you travel overseas you have to deal with multiple currencies and you never know what exchange rates the banks are charging you. Here at TravelbyBit we are promoting the Bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for world-wide travel. It’s simple, safe and there’s no bank fees.”
Our take: we love it, and can’t wait to see other airports launching similar schemes in the near future. 🙂