Brisbane Airport to be first in the world to accept bitcoin

Brisbane Airport said that it “makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals”. Source: Shutterstock.

DOES THIS CRYPTOCURRENCY DEAL mean that Bitcoin is inching closer to legitimacy?

Brisbane Airport, one of Australia’s biggest airports, will soon be accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – the first airport in the world to accept it as a legitimate currency. The airport announced on Jan 24 that it had struck a deal with TravelbyBit, a cryptocurrency travel firm.

TravelbyBit develops “travel routes” that list places and experiences that can be paid by using cryptocurrency, and provides a way for merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Steem. Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) said it was “working with TravelbyBit to bring decentralized blockchain-enabled payments into its terminal shopping”.

As such, travelers will be able to pay with cryptocurrency at retail outlets in its air terminals, including cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and newsagents.

Source: Andre Francois/Unsplash.

Cryptocurrency, despite being all the rage these days, continues to stir debates and cause confusion – mostly because it exists only in cyberspace and is unregulated. Bitcoin (the world’s most popoular cryptocurrency with the biggest market cap to date) for example, is a “code”, much like the language used in computer programming.

It allows online payments to be made without going through a conventional financial institution i.e. banks, and thus, they can be exchanged peer-to-peer for goods and services – like money.

What determines the value of cryptocurrency? Supply and demand. But they can also be swapped or sold for regular currency.

Last week, Bitcoin lost more than half its value amid a cryptocurrency crash. In that sense, it’s quite volatile as it can fluctuate so quickly. And it has its skeptics.

Source: chuttersnap/Unsplash

“Travelers 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 such as Botanist, Spoon, Windmill & Co., and Forte Espresso, as well as nine awpl stores including Australian Way, Merino Collection, Carry On, Dreamtime Journey and multiple News Travels across both terminals,” Brisbane Airport said in a press release.

BAC General Manager Strategic Planning and Development Roel Hellemons said, “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.”

He also added that it was “just the beginning” for them as they hope to expand the digital currency option across the business.