Australian cryptocurrency payments startup Travelbybit has seen a cash injection of $2.5 million from a high-profile investor in Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Crypto unicorn Binance is investing AUD $3.48 million (approx. USD$2.5 million) in TravelbyBit to further expansion of the latter’s network of cryptocurrency payment terminals following a successful implementation in Brisbane earlier this year, Business Insider Australia reported on Wednesday.
The two companies will jointly collaborate in introducing a point-of-sale (POS) system – already developed by TravelbyBit – into “major airports around the world,” the report added. The objective is to propel cryptocurrency adoption among travelers who commonly see friction in currency conversion and other markup fees.
Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao said:
“Let’s start with airports and go from there…Real, on-the-ground, just-when-you-need-it use case is the key to further crypto adoption. In this light, there is no better fit than being able to use your crypto when travelling, just after you land in a foreign country, where you may not have the local currency.”
Queensland-based TravelbyBit has quickly become one of Australia’s most-relevant startups in the cryptocurrency industry for its adoption-forward focus in developing software and point-of-sale (POS) retail terminals that enable crypto payments.
Earlier this year, Brisbane international airport, Australia’s third-busiest airport, became one of the first major airline hubs in the world to accept cryptocurrencies at retail stores in both its terminals.
In essence, travelers are able to use a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin, among others. Predictably, Binance’s own custom ERC20 token, Binance Coin, will also be supported by retail merchants using TravelbyBit’s machines.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) September 11, 2018
TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh added:
“Imagine traveling with multiple stopovers and only needing a single currency. We’re working with the most innovative airports and retailers who want to offer their consumers non-traditional payment options and a chance to experience cutting-edge technology.”
Beyond airports, TravelbyBit has also boosted the profile of Australian beach town Agnes Water, which calls itself ‘Australia’s first digital currency town’. Nearly three dozen local businesses including tour operators, restaurants and accommodation providers – even a local pub – in the town of 2,000 residents are accepting cryptocurrencies for payment through TravelbyBit’s POS system.
Such initiatives have seen the Aussie crypto startup earn recognition and investment from the Queensland government, receiving allocated funds from an AUD$8.3 million grant.
Describing the startup as a “company set to drive more tourists to Central Queensland by selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency,” Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said in August:
“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.”
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