Queensland is banking on cryptocurrency to boost tourism in the state, with a sizeable grant given to a Brisbane-based start-up that will enable visitors to pay for every aspect of their travel using digital currencies like Bitcoin.
The local start-up, TravelbyBit, has received two rounds of funding from the state government and, in turn, has transformed its hometown of Brisbane into one of the most crypto-friendly cities in the world.
TravelbyBit's digital currency point-of-sale system has been deployed to over 200 merchants across Australia, with at least 60 per cent of those located in Queensland.
. Paying via Bitcoin at Brisbane Airport.
In May, Brisbane Airport became the first in the world to accept cryptocurrency, enabling travellers to make purchases with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum at more than 30 retail and dining outlets located throughout the international and domestic terminals.
In June, the sleepy coastal tourism town of Agnes Water in northern Queensland will became the nation's first digital currency town. This week the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will allow visitors to pay for events using digital currencies.
TravelbyBit is now looking at expanding the reach of digital currencies to other tourism spots in Queensland in addition to selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency.
Queensland's Minister for Innovation and Tourism, Kate Jones, views cryptocurrency as a vital cog that is "set to drive more tourists to Queensland".
“That’s why we’ve invested to help them (TravelbyBit) scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland," she said.
Brisbane isn't the only Queensland town going big on cryptocurrency.
For tourists, cryptocurrency eliminates the friction normally involved with travel as it removes the risk of having to carry cash, international transaction fees are non-existent and there's no need to ...