Brisbane Airport is going to become the world’s first airport to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Dash, Steem, and Litecoin.
The airport recently signed an agreement with Australian tourism startup TravelbyBit to accept the virtual currencies.
What does this mean for travelers? Brisbane’s shops, restaurants, and bars will accept cryptocurrency as well as standard currency.
“Many people around the world have made money investing in cryptocurrencies, and a lot of these people travel internationally, so it makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals.” said Brisbane Airport General Manager of Strategic Planning and Development Roel Hellemons.
“We’re also proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve this in partnership with a small local start-up business such as TravelbyBit,” Hellemons added. “This is just the beginning for us, as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business.”
TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh told The Telegraph that paying in Bitcoin makes more and more sense for travelers. “We are building a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies in the tourism industry,” he said. “The application of digital currencies in this 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.”
On the other hand, paying for travel expenses by Bitcoin is generally considered safe and simple and eliminates the issue of bank fees altogether.
Although Bitcoin hasn’t enjoyed great popularity in many nations, Australia has taken the lead in accepting the currency.
In fact, a July 2017 budget statement from the Australian government said that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin would be effectively treated as money. “From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST [Goods and Services Tax], allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes.”
Although major companies like Expedia, PayPal, and Microsoft accept bitcoin, Brisbane Airport is an early adopter in that industry. It certainly won’t be the last.