An Australian startup that acts as an intermediary to enable Australians to pay their bills with Bitcoin is now rewarding customers with a first-of-its-kind loyalty program.
Living Room of Satoshi, aptly named after Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto is an Australian blockchain-based payments company that enables its users to settle their bills with bitcoin. Customers can use bitcoin to pay for utilities, home and property rent, school fees, credit card payments and insurance premiums.
Now, the payments company has announced a loyalty program which will reap rewards for Australians who choose to make their payments in bitcoin.
The rewards include the likes of Apple TVs, PlayStation 4 consoles, Fitbit wristbands and even Australian dollars in denominations of $50 and $100 that can be redeemed for points accumulated through the loyalty program.
CEO and co-founder of Living Room of Satoshi, Daniel Alexiuc, sees the rewards program as a novel way to spread bitcoin awareness in the country. Furthermore, users who have been using the company’s services over the past six months will also be rewarded with points retrospectively. Alexiuc stated:
We want to promote bitcoin as an easy, fun and useful payment option for everyday bills. Now you can be rewarded for being part of the ecosystem.
Speaking to CCN, Alexiuc revealed insights about bitcoin and blockchain adoption in Australia, as well as the progress being made by Living Room Of Satoshi as a bitcoin-friendly, blockchain-based company.
How is Bitcoin adoption faring in Australia?
Consumer use is growing steadily. However business and commercial use is being stifled by a poor decision from the Australia Taxation Office (who I incidentally used to write software for) to classify bitcoin as a commodity, not a currency.
The resulting double GST that applies makes bitcoin a very difficult option for business.
How has Living Room of Satoshi grown in the past 2 years?
We’ll be coming up to 2 years in operation in April. We won a banking industry “startup showdown” in 2014, we were involved in the ATO’s senate inquiry into bitcoin, we won “Best new startup in Australia“.
in 2015, we launched a “pay anyone” feature last year, and just announced our rewards program. We’ve got lots of exciting things planned for 2016!
Could you share figures of the user growth/stats?
In its relatively short time of operation, Living Room of Satoshi has processed over 2,500 bills for Australians, and a total of over $1.1 million AUD. Bill payments have increased by 50% in just the last 6 months, and continue to grow each week. The most common bill payments are paying off credit cards, phone bills, rental payments and electricity/gas bills.
Does your company take a fee for payments made through your portal with Bitcoin?
There are no fees or charges. If you type a dollar amount into our homepage, you’ll see an instant bitcoin conversion price which is the total and only amount you pay.
How are you able to provide rewards?
We make profit by selling bitcoin on multiple international exchanges, being able to achieve a better price than is possible locally in Australia. We share some of that as rewards with our loyal customers, which provides a small and fun extra incentive to pay with bitcoin.
What do you make of the ASX being the first stock exchange in the world to actively embrace blockchain technology?
As someone who has written software for banks, markets and payments companies in the past, I’m extremely excited that Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation is beginning to transform the way finance and settlement companies operate.
I believe that the “blockchain” solutions they come up with will not use a chain of blocks, as such a data structure only makes sense when used in a trustless decentralised environment like Bitcoin, and I don’t think they are ready to give up that level of control yet.
But it’s clear that Nakamoto’s revolutionary technology has inspired CTO’s to look at their own systems and realise that their systems are well overdue for overhaul, and should be operating much closer to realtime.
Would you like to reveal or say about your company or Bitcoin in general?
I’d like to say something to Chris Jordan if he’s reading, the current Commissioner of Taxation for the Australian Taxation Office: Please reconsider your classification and treatment of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is here, and clearly not going away.
Featured image from Shutterstock.