Brisbane Airport to allow payments with cryptocurrency
Airport stores will soon sell travel goods for bitcoin.
Although cryptocurrencies are traded and valued on various markets around the world, there aren't all that many places you can visit where it's possible to use your crypto-coins to buy goods and services. (Check out finder's detailed map for where you can do that in Australia right now.)
With payment platform Stripe recently withdrawing its support for Bitcoin, it seemed that options for using cryptocurrencies were getting thinner. However, Brisbane Airport and number of airport terminal retailers will be working with TravelbyBit to offer cryptocurrency payments for goods while you're waiting for a flight.
TravelbyBit is an Australian company that creates a bridge between traditional retail and payments to the world of cryptocurrencies. Although its merchant list is quite slim and mainly focussed around Fortitude Valley in Queensland, this new relationship with Brisbane Airport Corporation, will allow shoppers to use their bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and other digital currencies to shop and dine at stores and restaurants in the airport terminal.
The advantage for shoppers, according to TravelbyBit's CEO Caleb Yeoh, is that you can bypass the traditional banking sector so you can skip on the credit card fees traditional institutions levy on transactions. Yeoh says that the lack of clarity around exchange rates and fees used by banks and credit card companies gives cyryptocurrencies an advantage as users can get a clearer view of what they are spending, as well as faster clearances for funds.
And, as more people who invest in cryptocurrencies travel, both the airport management and TravelbyBit see this as a significant opportunity to engage with customers in new ways. ""This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business, so watch this space," Brisbane Airport Corporation general manager for strategic planning and development Roel Hellemons said.
One challenge is the current volatility of the market, something that people engaged in cryptocurrency markets will have a better handle of as ratings systems, such as the one recently launched by Weiss, provide more reliable tracking of changes in valuations.
Picture: Brisbane Airport