Great Barrier Reef Resort Looks to Crypto for Funding $216 Million Rebuild

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Great Barrier Reef Resort Looks to Crypto for Funding $216 Million Rebuild

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Great Keppel Island on the Great Barrier Reef may once again begin to attract Australian tourists and others from all over the world, through cryptocurrency.

After ten years of sitting dormant, the island’s resort off Queensland’s central coast was recently demolished. It was last bought by Sydney-based company Tower Holdings in 2006 and was shut down by the developer two years later after becoming derelict.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and along with the man-made Great Wall of China structure, is the only living thing on earth visible from space. The reef itself is found between 15 km and 150 km offshore and around 65 km wide in some parts. It is a gathering of brilliant, vivid coral providing divers with spectacular underwater experiences.

It boasts more than 400 different kinds of coral, also coral sponges, mollusks, rays, dolphins, over 1,500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds, around 20 types of reptiles including sea turtles and giant clams over 120 years old. It is a major boon to Australia’s tourism industry, bringing in tourists from all over the world as one of the world’s must-see experiences.

New life is now being brought back to the resort, once famous for its “Get Wrecked on Keppel” tag claimed in the 1990s when it was a magnet for party-goers. A new project between the current owners Tower holdings and a Sydney cryptocurrency consortium now plans to offer Great Keppel Island tokens to private investors in a round of public share offerings for a AUD 300 million rebuild.

Cryptocurrency expert Dr Philippa Ryan, who is also a Standards Australia Blockchain Technical Committee member, thinks the new idea is “brilliant” with further endorsements and backing from Australian regulators such as ASIC and the ACCC. She commented:

“Security Token Offering is a clever new name for this particular type of fundraising model because it clearly indicates the type of crypto token to be issued; it is a security token… This is much easier for ASIC to regulate than initial coin offerings, which do not issue coins at all.”

Once the white paper is released this next week, Dr Ryan expects that the company will begin to target investors with a minimum buy-in of AUD 100,000. The company has begun its marketing campaign, already advertising the project on social media sites.

“I think it’s the more sophisticated investors who probably have done their research into crypto and are ready to put it into something of bricks and mortar, but I would say the more likely will be the managed investment schemes,” she said.

1,000 luxury villas and apartments, a 250-berth marina, a golf course, and an airstrip will be the new look if the project is successful. The owners had expected Chinese investment prior to the current plan. This may well revitalize that idea given China’s current mainland cryptocurrency clampdown and Chinese investors interest in Australian tourism.

Tower Holdings chief executive Anthony Aiossa commented on the new Great Barrier Reef development:

“The crypto solution that was put to us essentially involves the raising of private equity to fund the project, using the technology of blockchain to raise finance from around the world. People from around the world will be able to go online, view the offering, and if they wish to participate, will be able to buy tokens and essentially own part of the project.”

GKI Tokens will be tradeable on cryptocurrency exchanges, with each GKI initially being worth AUD 1 (USD 0.72).


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