Over 30 local businesses in the town accept cryptocurrencies
There is one Australian beach town, known as Agnes Water, which is billing itself as the first ‘digital currency town’ in the country, having the effort to attract international digital-savvy travelers to boost its primary industry, which is tourism. In this town, there are over 30 local businesses which include accommodation providers, as well as a tour- operators, restaurants and even the local pub in Agnes Water, which are now accepting cryptocurrencies, despite it is a town which is of a mere 2,000 permanent residents. One billboard in the city which welcomes the visitors diving in reads: ‘Welcome to Agnes Water-1770, Australia’s First Digital Currency Town’, with the support for cryptocurrencies which include the following: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, NEM, Litecoin, as well as Ethereum.
The initiative of this beach town is to embrace cryptocurrency payments stems from the local real estate agent named Gordon Christian who started looking into accepting cryptocurrencies after one client, an owner of a local business, explored how to go about processing a Bitcoin payment from a customer. Soon enough, the interest of Christian piqued further when he learned that Brisbane International Airport, a five-hour drive from Agnes Water, had started accepting cryptocurrencies at some retail storefronts.
He revealed to ABC News that selling his idea to the local business was not hard. He explained that they had started from the ground up, shared it with a couple of companies and they were straight on board. He says that he guesses they were international travelers themselves and that they had heard of such types of payments before. He also says that initially, they had a good ten businesses which just said, ‘Fine — let’s go for it.’
Arti Cipak, the local tourism operator
Arty Cipak, who is the local tourism operator, in one statement, added that if it is going to take cryptocurrency to get tourists to town, then they should bring it on.
Nowadays, there are 31 local businesses which include resorts, as well as backpacking establishments, tour companies and eateries which are now accepting cryptocurrency payments through a point-of-sale app developed by TravelbyBit, a Queensland-based crypto payments startup.
Caleb Yeog, the CEO of TravelbyBit
The CEO of TravelbyBit, Caleb Yeoh said that they had got merchants all over Australia, but they are very sporadic.
According to the crypto executive, while still in its early days, the first ‘digital currency town’ of Australia could soon lure a friendly group of international tourists to Agnes Water rather than mainstream destinations.
Yeoh said that the town had made a very strategic move in trying to appeal to a niche market to take maybe some of those visitors…to come out to their tiny part of the woods. He added that if people travel around the world, they have to deal with multiple currencies the exchange rate can be confusing, sometimes they may struggle to find ATMs and sometimes they may get swindled by money chargers. Traveling with only one global currency such as Bitcoin makes sense, says he.