Bitcoin.com.au, an Australian exchange that has been in operation for 18 months now, has made the buying of Ethereum and Bitcoin easier. As of 1st March 2018, BTC and ETH can now be purchased from 1,200 newsstands across Australia. Although most people are not used to buying digital currencies from physical vendors, Australia is now making this possible, providing a convenient and trusted way to do so.
The exchange previously only offered the purchase of BTC on its site, but it’s now offering ETH as well. This was a necessary undertaking according to Bitcoin.com CEO Rupert Hackett, due to the increased purchase price of Bitcoin, which was scaring investors away. Diversification to another cryptocurrency was necessary for the survival of the exchange.
How It Works
According to Hackett, the introduction of BTC and ETH in familiar retail environments will make people more comfortable in dealing with cryptocurrencies. Most people do not trust cryptocurrencies because they are a digital product and there is no tangible evidence of it being handed over. However, the use of newsagents provides a way that can gain the trust of consumers.
They will, however, need to acquire a crypto wallet and scan the QR code of the wallet on the newsstand’s iPad. The minimum a customer can buy at any newsstand is 50 AUD iwhich s about $39 worth of ETH or BTC. Customers can receive their digital coins within an average of 20 minutes. The exchange will charge a transaction fee of 5 percent for every amount of cryptocurrency bought. The fee was, however, waived on the opening day; 1st March 2018. The fee is a bit on the high side but Hackett points out that this fee is worth it due to the convenience the exchange is providing to investors.
Australia Encouraging the Use of Digital Currency
The Australian government has previously tried to make cryptocurrencies part of the traditional retail and financial environments.
Last year the government announced that Bitcoin would be treated as money and exempted from goods and services tax, and that Bitcoin traders would not be taxed for selling or buying Bitcoin from regulated exchanges or trading platforms. This came after the Australian exchange market recorded slow growth over the past few years due to the termination of banking services for different exchanges by leading Australian banks, since they were not competitive enough. Additionally, there was a double taxation on Bitcoin trading by the Australian government. However, starting on the 1st July last year, the double taxation and the trading goods and services taxation on Bitcoin was done away with in a bid to encourage the growth of FinTech and innovative industries in the country.
Furthermore, last year in December, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) made an announcement that blockchain technologies would be used to process equity transactions. Also, in January this year, Brisbane National Airport announced that it was making its terminal crypto-friendly and all the businesses in the terminal would accept cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.
The convenience brought about by the use of newsstands as a purchase point for the two digital currencies is a step in the right direction towards the adaptation of cryptocurrency as a means of exchange and a store of value globally.
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