A resort on the Great Barrier Reef island, famous in the 80s and 90s for the Get Wrecked on Keppel slogan, could see a long-awaited awakening through an unlikely source – cryptocurrency.
In what is touted as a world-first, the developer of the resort, Tower Holdings, has confirmed that it has formed a partnership with a consortium of cryptocurrencies in Sydney that plans to offer Great Keppel Island Tokens to private investors Already from next week.
Investors can buy tokens to finance $ 300 million of development on the island, in a move similar to an initial public offering for equities.
Comes after Tower Holdings has listed his Great Keppel Island revitalization project of several million dollars at the beginning of the year, after failing to attract private investors since he got final approvals in 2013.
Redevelopment plans include more than 1,000 luxury villas and apartments, a 250-bed marina, a golf course and a runway.
The impression of a resort artist on the Fisherman's Beach on the island of Great Keppel. (Supplied: Tower Holdings)
Blockchain Technical Committee member in Australia and cryptocurrency expert Philippa Ryan said it was a "genius" move that seemed to have the support of Australian regulators like ASIC and ACCC .
"The security token offering is a new smart name for this particular type of fundraising model, because it clearly indicates the type of cryptographic token to issue, it's a security token," he said.
"It is much simpler to regulate ASICs than the initial coin offerings, which do not emit coins at all."
A white paper, similar to a prospectus, should be published on Monday, but the company has already started marketing sites and blogs on social media.
Dr. Ryan expected the company to target two specific types of investors, with a minimum buy-in of $ 100,000.
<img src = "http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/10199862-3×2-700×467.jpg" alt = "A ferry moored on the beach with white sand and blue water while people walk on board. [19659016Foto]:
Great Keppel Island is a 40-minute ferry ride from Yeppoon on the Capricorn coast. (ABC Capricornia: Megan Hendry)
"I think they are the most sophisticated investors who have probably done their research on cryptography and are ready to put it into something of brick and mortar, but I would say that more likely they will be managed investment schemes, "he said.
"There will be small consortia of investors who could get 10 $ 10,000 investors and get it together."
However, Dr Ryan said that tokens would still be tradable on exchanges of existing cryptocurrencies, which meant that value could still fluctuate, with each "GKI" initially being worth $ 1.
"Once off and running, the person with the investment of $ 10,000 can sell 5,000 for a bit of profit while the price goes up, "he said.
"It's like using gold knowing that price can fluctuate, but it can also act as a currency."
Funding for projects from around the world
The CEO of Tower Holdings Anthony Aiossa said the consortium of cryptocurrency behind the plan was one of the first groups to show interest in the GKI project when it was put on sale at the beginning of this year.
"From that moment on, we looked for a myriad of options to secure project funding to get the project off the ground," he said.
"The cryptographic solution that has been submitted to us essentially concerns the raising of private equity to finance the project, using blockchain technology to raise funding from all over the world.
" People from all over the world will be able to go online, view the offer and, if they wish to participate, will be able to buy tokens and substantially part of the project. "
The old resort on the island of Great Keppel was demolished in August after 10 years of dormancy. (ABC Capricornia: Megan Hendry)
Aiossa said that this new form of project funding allowed developers to get around the normal banking and stock lending practices and get funding directly from people willing to invest in the project.  "It does not require debt, it's all about private equity, so it's hoped that the project can give results on what has already been approved and do justice to the project."
Mr. Aiossa said that Tower Holdings did extensive research on the idea before considering it a viable option.
"We spent many months trying to understand the technology of the blockchain itself, and then we tried to search and talk with as many people as possible about its application in the financial world," he said.
"It is not something that has just been pulled out of nowhere, it is a new serious frontier."
Mr Aiossa said that Tower Holdings did not give up a traditional sale of the resort.
"We continue to remain open to all kinds of opportunities to make the project move … there are a number of groups that are still interested in the project."
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