The Melbourne Bitcoin Technology Centre (MBTC) has partnered with the Bitcoin Group to give away the digital currency in Melbourne’s Chinatown precinct.

The “lucky money” envelopes containing a bitcoin paper wallet were handed out to passers by and merchants to mark the Chinese New Year.

Pantelis Roussakis, communications manager at MBTC, said:

“During the Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, exchange decorative poems on red paper and give out ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes. Today amidst the New Year festivities in Melbourne’s bustling Chinatown, we hit the streets, giving people a paper bitcoin wallet, instructions and good wishes for the New year.”

The giveaway marks the start of the Melbourne Chinatown project, part of the National Bitcoin Boulevard campaign, which launched across the country in November.

The initiative, undertaken by the community and supported by Bitscan, sets out to provide local merchants “with the tools and support to accept and trade in bitcoin”, as well as establishing “additional sales channels within this new and vibrant economy”.

See an image gallery of the Chinese New Year giveaway below:

Similar projects include Calle Bitcoin in Madrid, which refers to the city’s exclusive Serrano area, where more than 20 establishments accept bitcoin payments.

The Hague’s Bitcoin Boulevard also launched in May last year with 10 initial establishments accepting the digital currency.

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