Brisbane airport announces it will now accept bitcoin

All kinds of things are happening in bitcoin space. We are seeing lots of bans/cautions by government authorities and approval by some others.

Now, Brisbane Airport has said it will accept bitcoin:

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin just got another step closer to widespread legitimacy.

Australia’s Brisbane Airport quietly announced last week that it will soon allow travelers to pay with crypto coins at its terminal shopping areas, according to iT news. It will be the first airport in the world to do so.

The arrangement is made possible thanks to a deal struck with cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit, which will equip the airport’s retail stores with technology to accept the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Steem.

“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,” Roel Hellemons, a general manager at the Brisbane Airport Corporation, said, according to Travel Mole.

We’re also proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve this in partnership with a small local start-up business such as TravelbyBit, whose pioneering thinking is drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking,” Hellemons added. “This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business.”

TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh echoed that sentiment, saying his company is “building a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies in the tourism industry,” Travel Mole reported.

“Whenever you travel overseas you have to deal with multiple currencies and you never know what exchange rates the banks are charging you,” Yeoh said. “Here at TravelbyBit we are promoting the Bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for world-wide travel. It’s simple, safe and there’s no bank fees.

This is a big reason for bitcoin acceptance: banks fleecing you while transacting in foreign exchange in airports. The pricing is way off the market and on top of that bid-ask spreads are crazy. So say market rate is Rs 70 for 1 USD. In airports this rate could be Rs  75 or so. On top of this, if you buy you pay Rs 75 and if you sell you get Rs 72. Whereas in typical forex market, the bid-ask spreadis just a few cents…

There is a big reason why both central banks and banks will despise and issue all kinds of warnings on bitcoin and other digital currencies. It is questioning and eroding their crazy rent-seeking businesses with no accountability whatsoever.

2 Responses to “Brisbane airport announces it will now accept bitcoin”

  1. vikramml Says:

    Indeed. Yesterday morning, I wanted to fund a foreign-based exchange with dollars for crypto trading. I checked my foreign bank, they would charge $30 for wire transfer. I checked ICICI bank, they would charge Rs 750 ($12) and I would have to fill out FEMA forms and what not and moreover in the list of reasons, there is no allowance for sending outward remittance for investments or buying assets!

    I don’t think we qualify as a democracy if the average person cannot invest wherever he/she feels like. RBI polices are made not with the citizen in mind but with their own limitations and the govt’s limitations in mind. But, I’m digressing.

    The other option was to buy crypto on an Indian exchange and transfer that to the US-based crypto exchange, but crypto premiums in India are 10% higher, presumably because capital outflow to foreign exchanges is not as easy and other inefficiences. So, I was stuck.

    Then came Mr. Jet Lee to the rescue. One good thing he has done in the last 4-5 years. He caused a panic in Indian crypto exchanges with his pathetically worded crypto statement in the budget and I was able to buy crypto at an Indian exchange at a 5% discount instead of the usual 10% premium. Transferring the crypto from Indian to US exchange took a few minutes and my problem was solved. The 5% discount covered more than the fees (which were less than a dollar) and the price volatility, so I ended up on the transfer as well.

    So, moral of the story: 1) wire transfer fees are criminally high and unjustified, 2) RBI and govt policies on outward remittance is criminal and undemocratic, 3) RBI and govt crypto policy uncertainty is bad because it causes 10%+ premiums in India compared to international crypto prices, and, 4) Crypto offers cheaper transfer fees and lesser wait times than wire transfers. 5) Mr Jet Lee caused a lot of losses for crypto traders yesterday, he should be sued but well we are a country of sheep so it won’t happen.

    Oh and Mr Jet Lee said that GoI will not recognize crypto as legal tender. Well who cares? If two people want to exchange using some medium, the govt can’t stop it nor does it need govt validation.

    After almost any interaction with the system, I always end up with the same question: why do the govt and bureaucrats think they are in a monarchy?

  2. vikramml Says:

    On the point about Jaitely saying that GoI won’t accept it as legal tender. It just shows how clueless our administrators are because the entire point of crypto currency is to not require any central validating authority. Thank you Mr Jaitely for showing to the world your and the MoF bureaucrats’ utter stupidity.

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