Buy Bundy by bitcoin: Cryptocurrency coming to QLD attractions
Queensland's gearing up to become Australia's most crypto-friendly state.
It's a match made in heaven. Australian state governments are looking for ways to bolster tourism, and these bitcoin and cryptocurrency things have recently gotten quite popular.
TravelbyBit is an Australian company, based in Queensland, that emerged to take advantage of both, with cryptocurrency point of sale systems that accept bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ether and XEM. From there, it's inked deals around Australia.
For tourists, cryptocurrencies have especially clear utility. There's no chance of it falling through a hole in your pocket; there's no need to mess around with expensive exchange rates or travel cards; there's no need to fret overseas ATM fees; and there's no need to worry about having too much unwanted local currency at the end of the trip. By removing some of the cost and effort obstacles for a visit to the sunshine state, Queensland might be hoping for increased visitor numbers.
It's also ideally geared towards the many travellers who pre-book their entire trip, paying for accommodation, travel and attractions from overseas before they arrive, letting travellers duck some of the worst headaches and excesses of international payments.
However, one of the challenges is to pave sufficiently crypto-friendly roads around the state where visitors know they can reliably spend their crypto without necessarily needing AUD.
TravelbyBit paved a parking lot at Brisbane airport, with many stores around the terminals now accepting crypto, and has started expanding its road from there. But it's easier said than done, and so far one of the only roads of crypto-friendly merchants is planned to run from Brisbane airport to a small town called Agnes Water, population 2,000, about 5 hours north of Brisbane.
But with the recently won support of the Queensland government, it aims to expand those roads and turn Queensland into one of the world's most crypto-friendly destinations. The support takes the form of $100,000 in state funding so the project can unfurl its cryptocurrency payment terminals at popular destinations around Queensland.
One of the first contenders for accepting cryptocurrency payments is the Bundaberg distillery and other businesses in the surrounding town of Bundaberg. It's situated along one of Queensland's main tourist paths and pulls in thousands of tourists each year.
"TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments," said Queensland innovation minister Kate Jones. "I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.
"With this next phase of technology, we are targeting a different brand of tourist – the tech-savvy traveller from anywhere in the world who are looking to book their travel experiences ahead of their trip and use digital currency to pay for their travels."
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.
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