Ever since Cryptocurrencies have arrived at the scene, they have been disrupting almost every single industry out there from healthcare to finance. However, the travel industry is one of those industries that did not get directly influenced by the boom of Cryptocurrencies. That is about to change as we prepare to witness a new use case and a new genre for the Crypto Industry: ‘Crypto Tourism’
Agnes Water, a tiny spot on the east coast of Australia with a population of just 2,000 is proving to be a new hub for the Crypto Industry. Agnes Water now has around 40 crypto-friendly merchants across just a 36 square-mile radius supporting major cryptocurrencies namely Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. The transactions are made in cryptocurrencies which can later be converted to regular currencies. Based on statistics, around 60 and 70% of businesses in the town allow users to pay using a handheld device and a digital wallet.
TravelByBit allows travelers to book their flights using bitcoin, Litecoin, or BNB (Binance coin). The firm that has incorporated crypto-adoption in Agnes Water since June 2018.
“The key thing we’re doing is allowing people to live completely on crypto if they want to, All the way; from flights, accommodation, shuttle taxis, all the way up to this town [Agnes Water]. I want to invite anyone to try.”
TravelByBit CEO Caleb Yeoh stated in his interview to The Block.
TravelByBit’s Yeoh also added that they aim to provide travelers total anonymity in their spending choices as they no longer have to share their personal details with airports and airlines.
This is very exciting for everyone who believed in the crypto hype train for years as we now have practical use cases for the technology. Tourists can even begin their crypto-spending adventure at the airport, Brisbane International, now feature three participating duty-free merchants.
Notably, Agnes Water’s crypto boom is very much niche. Considering the amount of population it has it is not something to boast about but however, it is a start.
According to Yeoh, the transaction counts are in the range of thousands notably from Australian merchants, including one particularly popular kebab store, which saw 15 transactions in a single month. This number is not amazing by normal currency terms but considering these are all transactions purely using digital assets it is nonetheless a big feat.
However, being a crypto tourist isn’t as practical as one would think. The constantly fluctuating prices, conversion hassles and unfamiliarity with the technology are all major roadblocks that need to be overcome for Crypto Tourism to become a mainstream brand.
Meanwhile, Yeoh added that the travel model is beneficial for both the travel and crypto industry.
“We are pioneering Lightning technology. We are the only company running Lightning en masse… My goal is to build a bitcoin tourist route in every country, in every city.”
No longer a buzzword
Crypotourism is no longer a buzzword that was previously limited to describe big, boozy cruises organized around blockchain talks, educational-trips and meetups.
“Those cruises rank up there as my worst nightmare,” These are words of Max Merch, General Partner at Fabric Ventures, sharing an email that the Blockchain Cruise company has sold out of tickets this year.
Moreover, many crypto enthusiasts are taking this to the next level by showing their support for this new genre. Aussie blogger Jaide Barclay is on the world’s first 12-week crypto tour, traveling across the globe with only a digital wallet – aiming not to use fiat at all. Her goal is to promote being a “crypto tourist” in multiple cities and obscure towns globally.
And TravelByBit says the tourism benefits are extending not just to travelers but also to locals as they also are now introduced to the technology thanks to the blooming travel network.
“This is about an education process for locals too. Before people would say oh is that the ‘bitcom’ [sic] thing…We need to educate our people, I don’t want to see people get scammed – old or young,” added Gordon Christian, a volunteer ambassador for TravelByBit.
As for TravelByBit, they are in a very good position having secured Binance’s backing along with a two-year runway that allows the firm to keep expanding crypto-tourists’ offering. Their future plans involve adding the functionality to buses and trains. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Steemit, and join our Telegram channel for the latest blockchain and cryptocurrency news.
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