Binance Invests $2.5 Million in Australian Blockchain Travel Startup
Binance has announced a $2.5 million investment in Australian travel startup TravelbyBit in a move to introduce a blockchain-based, point-of-sale (POS) payment system across major airports around the world. Travelers will be able to visit local merchants at select international airports and use mobile wallets like Coinomi and Dash Wallet for POS payments. There are also plans to add support for Binance's official mobile wallet Trust Wallet.
"There is no better fit than being able to use your crypto when traveling, just after you land in a foreign country, where you may not have the local currency," Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, stated in the announcement.
Australia has been a relatively friendly region for cryptocurrencies for a while. The country has built a positive outlook on digital currencies starting from declaring Bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies as legal tender, to its clear rules on exchange registration and taxation of crypto purchases.
Brisbane, known as the Mecca for all visitors to Australia, is the third largest city and the capital of Queensland. It welcomes millions of tourists and pulls in billions of dollars per year for the Australian government. Earlier this year, the Queensland government gave TravelbyBit a grant to turn the state into a crypto haven for tourists. The startup used the funding to deploy its POS system to over 200 merchants nationwide. The TravelbyBit platform has also been integrated into Brisbane’s airport — making it the first airport in the world to accept cryptocurrencies.
In correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Wei Zhou, CFO at Binance, stated his enthusiasm with the investment and said Binance was looking forward to rinsing and repeating the model that has been so successful in Brisbane to other parts of the world.
“With the support of the Queensland government, TravelbyBit has turned Brisbane into a true crypto-friendly tourism destination. TravelbyBit is helping over 30 retail stores and restaurants in the Brisbane airport — and over 200 other locations in Queensland — accept digital currencies, including Binance’s own BNB token. Now, Binance is working with TravelbyBit to replicate this successful model and move the tourism industry forward in other regions.”
TravelbyBit's partnership with Binance will allow the startup to introduce its blockchain-based POS system, currently being used at the Brisbane airport, into other international airports worldwide, so travelers can enable cryptocurrency payments for tourists across the world without the need to exchange fiat currencies at expensive rates. The startup's POS system currently supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dash (DSH) and Litecoin (LTC), and it will now include Binance Coin (BNB) — in a move to increase the use cases for BNB.
Caleb Yeoh, CEO of TravelbyBit, stated the benefits of cryptocurrencies for the travel industry, which he believes will cut out exchange rates or leftover currencies after a trip.
“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.”