TravelbyBit recently piloted the use of Binance Coin (BNB) on one of its merchants. We sat down with TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh to dive deeper into our partnership.
Just weeks after Binance announced an investment in tourism-focused crypto payments company TravelbyBit, the latter introduced support for Binance Coin (BNB), starting with a bar in Australia. Right now, TravelbyBit is integrating BNB across all its merchants, with completion soon to be announced. This is a major development for BNB’s utility, delivered by the company behind Brisbane Airport’s transformation into the world’s first cryptocurrency-ready airport.
At the forefront of making cryptocurrencies usable for worldwide travel is Caleb Yeoh, CEO of TravelbyBit. An avid kitesurfer who sees blockchain and cryptocurrency as the antidotes to financial hassles related to traveling, Caleb has already driven greater crypto adoption, with hundreds of merchants in Australia now accepting payments in cryptocurrency, thanks to TravelbyBit.
Here are some highlights from our interview with Caleb.
How was your trip to Malta earlier this month? What sort of conversation did you have with CZ and the rest of the team?
Malta is truly the blockchain island. The energy and excitement there was amazing. The reception CZ and Binance had from the regulators and government folk was what blew me away. The country is truly grateful for the help Binance provided in shaping the blockchain island initiative.
The one thing that really struck me was CZ’s message: “In an industry where some have called the Wild Wild West, in the absence of rules, you can still act ethically.” Binance has always focused on doing the right thing by its users and the ecosystem.
Please walk us through the origins of TravelbyBit. How did it start? I heard that some kitesurfing is involved.
As an avid kitesurfer, I’ve traveled to destinations all around the globe, hunting for the best wind and kiting conditions. I spent a lot of transit time at airports and the exchange rate robbery that happens in these locations is shocking. The fees and inconvenience in dealing with multiple currencies when in transit is a nightmare. Imagine if you can travel all around the world with one truly global currency with no fees. That’s what TravelbyBit and Binance are working towards — digital currency for global payments.
TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh during one of his kitesurfing trips
We admire your significant role in transforming Brisbane Airport into a crypto-friendly airport. What went into ushering in that change?
Working with mainstream businesses is extremely hard. The deal with the airport took over six months of discussions and planning. The truth is we are only at the beginning of this movement and many large organizations are very risk-averse and prefer to take a wait-and-see approach. Only the most innovative ones take a bold step forward and lead the way. I must say Brisbane Airport Corporation and the Cater Care group at the airport are truly innovators in this space. There are folks in those organizations who are brave enough to try something new.
What factors convince merchants to accept crypto payments?
To be frank, we had a compelling offer: Minimal setup fees, no ongoing merchant fees to the user or to the merchant. We don’t intend to charge any fees to the merchant or to the consumer. Also, you will be surprised how many people genuinely support us because of the philosophy behind crypto, which is centered around freedom and liberty.
What are your expectations from the new partnership with Binance?
I think TravelbyBit and Binance are a good fit. Our companies want to see blockchain and digital currency adoption grow around the globe. Binance funding has enabled us to focus on building cool stuff for the community, without going to traditional VCs which would otherwise have set us on a different path. Crypto is a social movement and Binance has allowed us to keep TravelbyBit focused on the community.
TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh shaking hands with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
I believe that protecting privacy is the key to a free and democratic society, and CZ believes increasing freedom makes the world a better place. This brings our organizations into close alignment.
In the next 12 months, what’s your projection of TravelbyBit’s reach and operations?
We are in talks with the most innovative retailers, airline lounges and airports around the world to roll out our blockchain payment system. Binance has over 10 million users now. We can channel those users to the retailers we work with at the airports.
Where can we see the TravelbyBit robot next?
We are working on a really cool project which I can share later down the track. All I’ll say is you will see more of the robot soon.