Australia’s Queensland Government is backing a startup that sells travel experiences online using cryptocurrency.
The venture, TravelbyBit, is one of 70 companies that will receive a grant as part of an A$8.3 million (£4.7 million) government innovation funding package. Innovation Minister Kate Jones says the startup makes it easier for visitors to pay for their purchases, with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments.
TravelbyBit is targeting places like Bundaberg, a city on Queensland’s coast known for Bundaberg Rum. “That’s why we’ve invested to help them scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland,” says Jones.
TravelbyBit will receive A$100,000 (£56,370) in funding, which its co-founder and CEO Caleb Yeoh says will allow the company to expand on connecting local Queensland merchants to cryptocurrency-spending tourists.
The startup has partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation to launch the world’s first digital currency friendly airport and has integrated its blockchain powered Point of Sale system across the regional tourism towns of 1770 and Agnes Water.
“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,” explains Yeoh.
Tourists can pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum and XEM. The platform will shortly accept Binance Coin (BNB). Currently, more than 150 merchants across Australia use the system.