Binance Invests $2.5 Million in Blockchain-Based Travel Startup
Binance had to move its headquarters from China to Japan in the wake of the PBoC’s crackdown against local cryptocurrency firms. But that didn’t discourage it from becoming the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange.The company is now making waves in Australia as it invests USD$2.5 million into a local blockchain startup.A report from Business Insider confirmed that Binance is working with Queensland-based TravelbyBit to develop a point-of-sale (POS) payment system for airports around the world.With an aim to encourage travelers to adopt digital currencies, the Binance-TravelbyBit partnership would enable merchants at international airports to accept payments in Bitcoin and other digital assets. Also, the duo would allow digital currency travelers to book travel plans using digital currencies.Multiple Destinations, One CurrencyChengpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, said there is no better way to use digital currencies than traveling and expected TravelbyBit would make commuting more accessible for people.Traditionally, travelers rely on expensive forex cards or over-the-counter (OTC) solutions to exchange local currencies to foreign currencies. The process also comes with unrealistic forex rates. For instance, travelers pay more than the current exchange rate when buying foreign currencies. Similarly, at the time of selling foreign currency for a local one, forex vendors reimburse travelers less than the actual forex rate. It’s a common practice.Zhao said TravelbyBit would be more straightforward than its traditional counterparts, confirming that travelers would only need to top-up their TravelbyBit wallet with digital coins like Bitcoin and Binance Coin for paying merchants directly.“Look for TravelbyBit and put your coins (hopefully the Binance Coin or BNB) to use,” he said. “Let’s start with airports and go from there.”TravelbyBit, which also won a kickstart grant of $100,000 from the Queensland government, acknowledged blockchain for its potential to offer a frictionless experience to travelers.“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,” said Caleb Yeoh, CEO of TravelbyBit. “Imagine traveling with multiple stopovers and only needing a single currency.”Binance is beginning to lead the forefront of blockchain innovation with its back-to-back investments into talented startups. Just recently, the company’s incubation wing, Binance Labs, invested ‘millions of dollars’ in Contentos, a YouTube-like platform which would reward its users with crypto-assets.“We are very excited to witness the next wave of game-changers that will come out from Binance Labs and join us in realizing the full potential of blockchain technology,” Binance stated in its recently published roundup report.Featured image from Shutterstock.