Beach town Agnes Water, Australia, is denominating itself as the country’s first ‘digital currency town’ as part of a marketing campaign aiming to attract international travelers fond of crypto and technology, so as to increase tourism to the area, their primary industry.
A total of more than 30 businesses comprised of but not only accommodation providers, restaurants, tour operators and even the local pub will now be accepting cryptocurrencies. The small town of 2000 permanent residents now has a welcome sign that reads ‘Welcome to Agnes Water-1770, Australia’s First Digital Currency Town’, showing the logos for popular cryptocurrencies bitcoin, bitcoin cash, NEM, litecoin, and ethereum, displaying their support for them.
Gordon Christian, local real estate agent, started looking into accepting crypto after a client explored how to proceed regarding a bitcoin payment for property purchase. Christian said selling the idea of accepting crypto to other businesses wasn’t easy. He told ABC News:
- “We started from the ground up, shared it with a couple of businesses and they were straight on board … I guess they were international travelers themselves and had heard of these types of payments. Initially, we had a good 10 businesses that just said, ‘Fine — let’s go for it’.”
Arty Cipak, local tourism operator added:
- “If it’s going to take cryptocurrency to get tourists to town, then bring it on.”
These businesses are accepting cryptocurrency payments through TravelbyBit, a Queensland-based start-up focusing on crypto payments processing.
TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh said:
- “We’ve got merchants all over Australia but they’re very sporadic. [Agnes Water and] the Town of 1770 has the highest concentration. The town has made a very strategic move in trying to appeal to a niche market to take perhaps some of those tourists … to come out to their little part of the woods,”
Yeoh added that traveling with one global currency like Bitcoin makes sense since travelers don’t have to deal with exchange rates and don’t have to carry cash with them at all times.