While many countries might red flag stepping into the cryptocurrency era, Agnes Water, a famous tourist town in Queensland Australia has announced itself the first “digital currency town in Australia”. The town accepts Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies to attract international digital-savvy travellers to boost its primary industry, tourism.
Agnes Water, a coastal town and a famous travel destination located in Queensland, Australia, has announced it is now the first “digital currency town” in Australia, with a simple goal – to attract more tourists. Tourism is the primary source of income for the beach town with around 2000 residents and by accepting Bitcoins, they aim to attract more international investors to the region to drive the growth of the tourism sector. Currently, over 30 local businesses, including restaurants, resorts, tour operators, and spa owners located in Agnes Water will start accepting payments in a range of digital currencies.
The idea is said to be the brainchild of a local real estate agent, Gordon Christian, who first learned about the technology after a client inquired how to process a payment in Bitcoin. On researching, Gordon found that some retailers at nearby Brisbane International Airport had started accepting payments in virtual money and thought it might be worth adapting to. He shared his idea with a couple of businesses and they were straight on board. Initially only few businesses at Agnes Water were on board, but eventually, a lot of them saw the benefits it will make by attracting international investors and tourist – henceforth joined the crypto-wave.
Today, even the local pub in Agnes Water is accepting cryptocurrencies in the town which welcomes visitors with a billboard that says ‘Welcome to Agnes Water-1770, Australia’s First Digital Currency Town’. These local businesses are accepting cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, NEM, Litecoin and Ethereum using a point-of-sale app developed by TravelbyBit, a Queensland-based crypto payments start-up. While it’s early days, Australia’s first ‘digital currency town’ could soon lure a nice group of international tourists to Agnes Water rather than mainstream destinations – a rather smart strategy.