Bitcoin in Australia has seen solid merchant-adoption in various cities, but one of the biggest problems of bitcoin mass adoption will always be paying for already institutionalized industries. Paying for student loans, internet service, phone service and public transportation are big obstacles in the way of the critical adoption levels Bitcoin-users crave. DISH has recently begun accepting Bitcoin as payment, which helps push past one obstacle, but what about all the other bills that pileup each month?
For Australian Bitcoin users, the answer came in May of 2014 with the company Living Room of Satoshi. Now they’re reporting phenomenal numbers and Australia may have found an alternative payment structure for their infrastructure.
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Brisbane-based startup Living Room of Satoshi, is currently reporting that Australian residents have paid $150,000 toward BPAY-enabled phone bills, electricity bills, school fees, credit card bills and even tax payments through their service. BPAY is a universal bill-payment system in Australia that almost every major business in Australia uses, along with federal and state governments.
“Bitcoin usage in Australia is growing rapidly, and our customers tell us they are looking for more ways to spend their bitcoin,” co-founder and CTO Daniel Alexiuc said. “Paying bills is something we all do, and many are now using bitcoin to do it.”
The company, named in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s mysterious and anonymous creator, uses an algorithm that claims it instantaneously compares rates from various bitcoin exchanges from around the world before converting the bitcoins to FIAT. It’s free to use, and Living Room of Satoshi claims it will always remain free for years to come.
“We don’t make money from this service. In the interests of full disclosure, we may make small profits on Bitcoin rate movements, as does any currency exchanger, but we also carry the corresponding risk. Our goal for Living Room of Satoshi is to help support the Australian bitcoin economy, and increase adoption of bitcoin for everyday payments.”
“We separately sell a solution for billers called Satoshi★Pay. We use our experience and technology to work with traditional Billing Service Providers in order to make bitcoin a viable mainstream payment choice.”
Australia isn’t the only place in the world that utilizes bitcoin for bill-payment purchases. Canadians also have that benefit through the bill-payment processor called Bylls. Started by Eric Spano, Bylls allows Canadians to pay approximately 6,000 different Canadian organizations.
“With an unverified account, you can pay up to $1,000 worth of bills per month,” Bylls says about its payment structure. “If you become a verified Bylls user, you can pay up to $5,000 of bills each month.”
Bylls uses the Canadian exchange Virtex, where it exchanges for the current market rate and settles with the biller.
One of the obvious facts of these services are that the billers don’t accept Bitcoin as payment; they accept fiat currency. When Bylls or Living Room of Satoshi payout the bills, they have to sell the provided bitcoins on a market. Ultimately, this leads to a lower value of bitcoins.
This problem is debated and discussed around payment processors like Bitpay and Coinbase, both of which are highly prevalent. By allowing companies like Dell, Newegg, 1-800-Flowers and even Expedia to accept bitcoins as payment. The issue though is that these companies are not honestly accepting bitcoin. They’re taking the bitcoins and immediately converting to fiat currency.
While it’s normally seen as a positive for any sort of merchant adoption to take place, there is a debate brewing on the effect this has on the value of bitcoin as the price continues to move downward. Continue the conversation with us and let us know what you think about this topic through our comment section below, or in our CCN forums.
Last modified: August 18, 2014 21:27 UTC