A new initiative, dubbed ‘Bitislands’, will enable travelers coming to Bali to bring only bitcoin to the island.
The initiative was developed to persuade all businesses and money changers to start accepting the virtual currency.
Although there were some attempts to create ‘Bitcoin Boulevards’ in certain towns, ‘Bitislands’ is the first project aiming at converting the whole island.
Bitcoin.co.id or Bitcoin Indonesia, the largest exchange and bitcoin lobby group in Indonesia, will provide financing for the experiment.
Oscar Darmawan, a co-founder and CEO of Bitcoin Indonesia, commented on the initiative: “We will show to the world that bitcoin can be a better money; as a first step we will convert Bali into Bitcoin Paradise Island.”
The project was supported by all main Indonesian bitcoin startups and by international firms from the Southeast Asia. Such companies include Artabit, CoinPip, Coin of Sale, Tukarcash, along with Bitwyre and Quantified.
‘Bitislands’ advisory board involve such notable investors and entrepreneurs as “Life on Bitcoin” documentary producer Christian Hsieh, Quantified Assets CEO Ville Oehman, Indonesia’s biggest internet marketing forum CEO Ricky Andrian and ‘Ubud Breakfast with Bitcoin‘ events’ organizer Gary Dykstra.
The ‘Bitislands’ initiative stipulates the establishment of an office and Bitcoin Information Center on the island, as well as the first offline bitcoin exchange in Bali.
The project will free travelers from the necessity to change currency at every destination, like mental price conversions, money changer fees and exchange rate ripoffs.
Bitcoin Indonesia’s CTO and other co-founder William Sutanto even moved to Bali in order to personally manage the operations. This demonstrates how serious the initiative is.
The project’s team invites bitcoin fans all over the world to participate in the initiative. All fans can make donations and to volunteer in Bali.
Bali is an ideal place for the virtual money adoption. Known as a paradise for hippies and surfers, Bali turned into a mainstream tourist destination, mainly popular with Australian and Japanese travelers.
The island began to attract more entrepreneurs from all over the world as the perfect location to create laptop-based startups.
The warm climate, low costs and relaxed atmosphere attract location independent developers, who need to meet their co-workers just few times a year.
The creation of the startup ecosystem on the island generated more interest in the region.
There are already several entrepreneurial co-working spaces in Bali, which include Hubud in Ubud town, The Sanur Space in Sanur and web design and marketing company Lumonata in Kuta.