Australian cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin.com.au has made buying Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) for fiat possible in more than 1,200 newsstands across Australia starting Thursday, March 1, local news outlet 9Finance reports.
Bitcoin.com.au, which has been in operation for around 18 months, describes itself on its website as “one of the first independent Bitcoin exchange networks in Australia.” Today, March 1, is the first time the exchange has offered purchases of ETH, having previously only hosted BTC transactions on its site.
Rupert Hackett, CEO of Bitcoin.com.au, sees introducing BTC and ETH for purchase in more in familiar retail environments as a way to make people more comfortable with cryptocurrencies in general:
“The fact that you can now buy Bitcoin and Ethereum from the same place you purchase soft drinks and stationery really speaks to how institutionalised cryptocurrency has become [...] For anyone who has hesitated about buying Bitcoin because it all seemed too complicated, this is the perfect setup that takes the fear factor out of investing in digital currencies."
In order to buy crypto from a participating Australian newsstand, consumers need to first acquire a crypto wallet, and then scan their wallet’s QR code with the newsstand’s iPad mini. The exchange has set up a minimum buy of 50 AUD (about $39 USD) worth of BTC or ETH.
Hackett told 9Finance that he expects customers to receive their cryptocurrency within an average of 20 minutes.
Bitcoin.com.au will generally charge a transaction fee of 5 percent, but that fee has been waived for the opening day, March 1, in a promotional special that coincides with Bitcoin.com.au’s expansion into Ethereum transactions.
Australia has previously made steps to bring cryptocurrencies and their technologies into both traditional financial and retail environments.
In December of last year, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it would start using Blockchain technologies for processing equity transactions. At the end of this January, Brisbane National Airport said that it has begun the process of making an entire airport terminal crypto-friendly, with all related business in the terminal able to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash.
By Molly Jane Zuckerman