The government of Queensland announced on their official website that they have just approved an AUD$8.3 million grant given to 70 domestic companies that are looking to innovate in the region. But TravelbyBit took the spotlight as the announcement described the crypto payments startup as a “company set to drive more tourists to Central Queensland by selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency.”
The government has named this grant the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas grant. Queensland is Australia’s second largest and third-most populous state.
Kate Jones, Queensland Innovation Minister says that “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.”
Thanks to the support from local businesses like resorts, tour operators and restaurants in Agnes Water, a beach-side tourist getaway, TravelbyBit’s point-of-sale cryptocurrency payments app is currently in use among over 30 local businesses.
The town even calls itself Australia’s first ‘digital currency town’. It says that on their welcome sign and features bitcoin, bitcoin cash, NEM, litecoin and ethereum as the five cryptocurrencies that are accepted through the payments app.
With an increased popularity and support from local businesses, TravelbyBit is set to receive AUD$100,000 from the grant that the company will use to ramp up their expansion and add to their 150 merchants that are already using their PoS crypto-friendly app to accept cryptocurrency across Australia. Right now TravelbyBit is targeting coastal cities in Queensland to make it easier for the tourists to easily book their holidays by using cryptocurrencies to make payments.
Not only that, the startup will also be enabling a number retailers at Brisbane Airport to start accepting cryptocurrency through this app. Brisbane is the country’s third-busiest airport. This addition will allow traveler arriving or departing its terminals to use cryptocurrency to purchase products.
TravelbyBit’s CEO Caleb Yeoh recently said that they are also working on adding support for cryptocurrencies like the Binance Coin (BNB) and will be using the government’s grant funds to expand their team to ramp up their development as well.
I believe that it is only a matter of time until the entire tourism industry in Australia will start accepting cryptocurrencies as valid forms of payment. This will not only help tourists make payments without worrying about credit card fraud, it will also help the local businesses attract more customers in the crypto space.
Australia is becoming more and more blockchain/crypto-friendly and they are definitely on the fast-track toward becoming one of the world’s top digital governments, as they promised. Just last month, the government awarded IBM an AUD$1 Billion, five-year contract to develop blockchain and other digital technologies.
The Australian government said that they are planning to invest heavily in blockchain technology, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence to achieve their goal of becoming the ‘top-three digital governments’ by 2025.