Australia’s first cryptocurrency town, population 2,000
A brainwave from a local Agnes Water realtor has created "Australia's first digital currency town."
Agnes Water 1770 got its name from being on the coast and from being the believed landing point of Captain Cook in 1770. Now it's standing out for a very different reason by billing itself as Australia's first digital currency town in a bid to bring some travellers off the beaten track to the small township about 5 hours north of Brisbane.
Its new title is earned by having Australia's highest concentration of stores that accept cryptocurrency. Although with a population of just slightly over 2,000, the coastal hamlet only needed a few shopkeepers on board to earn the title.
It all began when a client of local real estate agent Gordon Christian asked him how to process a bitcoin transaction, and he found himself unable to answer.
Real estate purchases are one of the more common real-world uses of bitcoin, and it is often used when someone wants to close a deal and make payment fast and without paperwork. This might be one of the clearer examples of real-world use driving wider cryptocurrency interest and adoption.
"I thought, 'This is something worth having a look at'," Christian said to ABC news.
After a gander, getting other businesses on board was relatively easy. It grew from there, and pretty soon the town had a solid plan of becoming a new destination for today's digital traveller.
"We started from the ground up, shared it with a couple of businesses and they were straight on board … I guess they were international travellers themselves and had heard of these types of payments... Initially we had a good 10 businesses that just said, 'Fine — let's go for it'."
The idea spread from there, and eventually the town had a solid plan around the idea of becoming a digital currency destination.
"The town has made a very strategic move in trying to appeal to a niche market to take perhaps some of those tourists … to come out to their little part of the woods," Christian said.
The plan centred on creating a full network of cryptocurrency payment options stretching from Brisbane airport to Agnes Water. The system was helped along by TravelbyBit and the NEM foundation, both of whom recently got together to turn Brisbane International Airport into a crypto hot spot.
It might make sense for travellers too, delivering a conceivable way of landing in Australia, exploring the destination and having an entire holiday on crypto alone, without the hassle of exchange rates, travel cards and similar.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and NANO.