Brisbane Airport will soon allow travellers to pay with cryptocurrency at retail outlets in its air terminals. The airport’s owner quietly announced last week that it had struck a deal with a Brisbane-based start-up called TravelbyBit.

TravelbyBit – which received $88,070 from Advance Queensland’s ‘Ignite’ commercialisation assistance fund – provides a way for merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Steem. “Although customers pay in digital currencies like Bitcoin, the merchants can choose to receive payment in Bitcoin, fiat currency, or a combination,” TravelbyBit said on its website.

Brisbane Airport Corporation said it was “working with TravelbyBit to bring decentralised blockchain-enabled payments into its terminal shopping”. It appears to have signed on at least 10 retailers to accept crypto payments, including cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and newsagents.

The corporation’s general manager for strategic planning and development, Roel Hellemons, said it was “just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business”. “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,” Hellemons said.

“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, whose pioneering thinking is drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking.” TravelbyBit already has around 26 merchants signed up to its platform. Most are clustered in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, though some are in other towns. Read more from…

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