Queensland, the second-largest state in Australia, has given a sizable grant to a local digital currency startup called TravelbyBit in order to facilitate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments at retail outlets and resorts in the area, Gizmodo reports. The decision is part of a larger move to boost tourism in the state while supporting cryptocurrency innovation.
Cryptocurrency and Tourism in Queensland
Kate Jones, the Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development in the state, spoke about the their decision to partner with TravelbyBit:
“Tourism is one of Queensland’s most important industries. 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.”
Earlier in the year, TravelbyBit partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation to introduce TravelbyBit’s digital payment protocol and blockchain-powered point-of-sale system at merchant shops and terminals, making Brisbane Airport the first airport to do so. Now travelers can make payments in various digital currencies such as Bitcoin at all retail stores and terminals at the airport.
In June, local media reported that more than 20 businesses in the coastal town of Agnes Water and 1770 are now accepting digital currencies as a means of payment, making the area the first digital currency town in the country.
By adopting digital currencies, Queensland is creating a niche market for itself in the country’s tourism sector by reducing the stressors tourists face, including currency exchange, international transaction fees, and credit card fraud. With digital currencies like Bitcoin, tourists only need access to a data connection to access their digital wallets and make payment, eliminating the need to carry cash or even credit cards.
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Cryptocurrency Adoption in Australia
The broader Australian government has also adopted a positive attitude towards digital assets. The country fast-tracked the implementation of regulations, such as compulsory registration for domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, to strengthen public and consumer confidence in the sector. BTC Markets and Independent Reserve are some of the local brokers that have received a license from the government.
The government is also adopting blockchain technology which powers most digital currencies. As previously reported on Unhashed, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and five local and international supply chain companies completed a test experiment on a global trade transaction using a platform built on Ethereum that integrated distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT).
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