Air travelers will soon be able to spend some satoshis in stores and cafes at Brisbane Airport. Major retailers will be accepting several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. The promise: “unprecedented digital currency experience” in the airport terminals. More than 20 merchants in the Brisbane area now take cryptos thanks to a local startup that is working on this project, too.
Because It Makes Sense
The main air transportation hub of southeastern Queensland is preparing to launch the “decentralized blockchain enabled payments” in partnership with a number of retailers and a local crypto payment system provider. Travelers will take advantage of Travelbybit’s platform, which supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other cryptocurrencies, the airport announced on its website.
“The partnership reinforces Brisbane Airport’s aim to promote community projects, support local businesses, improve the passenger experience, and become a leader in the airport digital innovation space,” according to the statement. Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) General Manager of Strategic Planning and Development, Roel Hellemons, reminded that many people around the world had made money investing in cryptocurrencies. A lot of them travel internationally, he noted. So,
It makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals.
Hellemons also stressed that BNE is the first international airport in the world to launch such project. The cooperation with Travelbybit was established in order to implement it successfully. He praised the small Australian startup for drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking. “This is just the beginning, as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business”, BAC’s representative said.
“We are building a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies in the tourism industry”, Travelbybit’s CEO Caleb Yeoh stated. He also noted that the application of digital currencies in the travel sector makes a lot of sense. “Whenever you travel overseas you have to deal with multiple currencies and you never know what exchange rates the banks are charging you. We are promoting the bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for worldwide travel. It’s simple, safe and there’s no bank fees,” Yeoh argued.
One Crypto Friendly Airport
The operator of Brisbane Airport also highlighted some benefits of cryptocurrency payments in general. They keep the user’s personal identity private and eliminate third-party interference, allowing for very low transaction fees, exchange rates, and transfer times, the press release reads.
Travelers will soon be able to use digital cash to pay bills in restaurants and cafes like Spoon, Windmill & Co., and Forte Espresso, as well as in nine Awpl stores in both terminals. “We are excited to be a launch merchant in the world’s first digital currency friendly airport”, Awpl’s managing director Costa Kouros said. His company, a travel sector retail solutions provider, supports local producers in airports across Australia and New Zealand.
BAC’s management insists that by introducing crypto payments it aims to promote community projects and support local businesses. Their partners at Travelbybit have built a network of merchants in the Brisbane area that already accept cryptocurrency. More than 20 businesses offer a wide variety of services – from airport transportation to luxury hotel accommodation – all priced in crypto.
The project at Brisbane International deserves praise for its scale but there have been other attempts to introduce cryptocurrency payments to airports in the past. As news.Bitcoin.com reported, last summer the Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation unveiled plans to offer various bitcoin services to its customers. It promised to install bitcoin ATMs and offer crypto payments in its duty-free shop at Kansai International Airport. A number of travel companies also accept bitcoin for booking flights, hotel reservations and rent-a-car services.
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