This town in Australia is the first ‘Digital Currency Town’ accepting Bitcoin to promote tourism
Agnes Water, the famous Australian beach town has started billing itself to be the country’s first ever ‘digital currency town’. This is to attract an international crowd and promote tourism. In this town, there are more than 30 local businesses that accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Despite the fact the town is only home to just 2,000 permanent residents, the place is doing quite well for itself.
When entering this town, one can easily see a billboard that reads ‘Welcome to Agnes Water-1770, Australia’s First Digital Currency Town.’ The town welcomes visitors who drive in and supports them to make their transactions for cryptocurrencies that include but not limited to Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, NEM, litecoin, and ethereum.
At present, there are 31 businesses that accept this new form of payment in this tiny beach town and that includes resorts, eateries, backpacking companies, tour companies and other staycation places within the same town as well.
Yeoh, the CEO of TravelbyBit has told, “We’ve got merchants all over Australia but they’re very sporadic”, stopping to only add, “[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,” Yeaoh says, not forgetting to mention, “If you travel around the world you have to deal with multiple currencies, the exchange rate can be confusing, sometimes you struggle to find ATMs, and sometimes you get swindled by money changers. Traveling with one global currency like Bitcoin … makes sense.”
This beach town’s initiative to accept this new form of digital payment first stems from the local real estate agent Gordon Christian. Gordon gained this interest through a local business owner after a client had explored into how to go about with the processing of the bitcoin payment. His interest only grew further when he learned that Brisbane International Airport had also been accepting the cryptocurrency at a number of retail storefronts.
He revealed, “Selling the idea to local businesses wasn’t hard. We started from the ground up, shared it with a couple of businesses and they were straight on board … I guess they were international travellers 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.”
And that’s how they kick-started their operations ending with, ““If it’s going to take cryptocurrency to get tourists to town, then bring it on.”