FREMANTLE could become the first “digital city” in the world if cryptocurrency queens Abheeti Kathryn Pass and Sophie Amat get their way.
They’re setting up the website http://www.WheretoShopwithCrypto.com, which will list all businesses in Australia that accept in-store payments in cryptocurrencies.
They’ve been approaching traders in Fremantle about coming aboard and reckon accepting cryptocurrencies could help them beat the retail slump plaguing the port city.
“This would help boost Freo so much,” says Ms Pass.
“Merchants are whinging and places are closing down; it’s becoming a bit of a ghost town.”
Chris Boichel, who owns The Chart and Map Shop in Fremantle, says the idea has “peaked his interest”.
“I like the idea of cryptocurrency in that money goes from person-to-person with no other banks involved.”
He says he’s a bit concerned about the volatility of crypto, but he’s keen to learn more about it.
Ms Pass co-hosts the popular podcast Crypto Clothesline, which teaches women about blockchain and cryptocurrencies and encourages them to get involved.
While Ms Amat is a cryptocurrency buff who wants everyday people to use technologies that have so far been “ring fenced for sophisticated investors”.
“It’s got to start now. We’ve noticed speaking to merchants and retailers, a desire to invigorate the retail trade in Fremantle and this could be part of the solution.
“There are people who travel the world looking for crypto-friendly shopping places and cities, so this could even help with tourism.”
She likens the emergence of cryptocurrency to when “email first came out and people weren’t sure about it”.
“We’d like to show mums and dads and grandparents, pretty much anyone, this is going to happen, and it’s about when do you want to jump on board and have fun with it.”
The girls will be hosting an information session next Tuesday (October 9) in Fremantle for local businesses (location tbd).
To find out more go to http://www.wheretoshopwithcrypto.com
by MOLLY SCHMIDT