In an unprecedented move, Brisbane Airport (BNE), Australia's third-busiest airport, will introduce cryptocurrency payments at a number of terminal retailers where travelers can make retail purchases with digital currencies. In its official announcement, Brisbane Airport revealed a partnership with Queensland-based bitcoin payments startup TravelbyBit to implement the firm's point-of-sale payments system across retail stores at the airport's two terminals.
In stating the benefits of using digital currencies over traditional payments like cards and cash, BNE pointed to low transaction fees, exchange rates, near-instant transfer times and a complete lack of third-party oversight with peer-to-peer payments.
'Travellers will soon be able to use TravelbyBit's cryptocurrency payment system, including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and other digital currencies, to dine and shop at stores," read an excerpt from Brisbane Airport's public reveal.
Staking a claim that the Australian airport will soon become the first in the world to accept cryptocurrencies, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) general manager of strategic planning and development Roel Hellemons added:
"Many people around the world have made money investing in cryptocurrencies and a lot of these people travel internationally, so it makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals."
The airport operator's move to accept cryptocurrencies is significant and underlines a broadly open-minded, friendly approach by Australia toward the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector locally. Further, the commercial acceptance of cryptocurrencies at both terminals at Brisbane Airport is in stark contrast to crippling measures or crackdowns exercised by the likes of Indonesia, China and, to some extent, South Korea, in recent times.