On Wednesday, Binance announced the launch of Binance Lite Australia, enabling users to purchase Bitcoin at over 13,000 physical storefronts in Australia.
The introduction of Binance Lite Australia comes months after TravelbyBit, a company invested by Binance, allowed users to utilize cryptocurrencies at the country’s major airports.
In an exclusive interview with CCN.com, Binance CFO Wei Zhou said easy fiat on-ramps is important to bring new users into crypto, especially in a region like Australia wherein the government has begun to support the blockchain sector.
For casual users or individuals who have not used bitcoin before, a full Know Your Customer (KYC)-enabled bitcoin exchange on which users are required to have their licenses and passports approved to begin trading could be demanding and overly complicated.
Over time, casual users that invest in the cryptocurrency market through alternative and simpler methods such as storefront purchases could move onto professional exchanges.
Zhou explained that the merit of operating easy-to-use fiat on-ramps is to facilitate the demand from users that do not wish to use online accounts to purchase or trade cryptocurrencies.
Binance Lite is a simple site for users to easily buy bitcoin with cash at physical store fronts. This model makes it really easy to bring new users into crypto, starting with Australia, where the government has taken proactive steps to support the blockchain industry. Users won’t have to open complicated online accounts to start using the service.
In recent years, the cryptocurrency market of Australia has fallen behind other markets in the likes of Singapore and South Korea, possibly due to the lack of support from banks.
In late 2017, amidst one of the strongest rallies in the history of the cryptocurrency market, reports claimed that large Australian banks abruptly closed the accounts of cryptocurrency investors.
However, since last year, the government of Australia has taken a proactive approach in regulating the local fintech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain industries, which industry executives remain hopeful that it could revitalize the cryptocurrency market of Australia in the long run.
Zhou told CCN.com that more than $5 billion in crypto was traded in Australia in 2018 and the government of Australia has started to fund blockchain startups, demonstrating their intent of facilitating the growth of the local blockchain sector.
“Over $5 billion dollars in crypto was traded in Australia last year. More importantly, Australia as a country is embracing blockchain technology. The Australian government has funded blockchain startups, and companies in Australia have issued bonds on the blockchain. They have also launched the world’s first crypto-accepting airport in Brisbane and held a voting trial on the blockchain, which is years ahead of many other countries. We believe Australia will become a blockchain continent,” Zhou said.
With storefront purchases and companies like TravelbyBit enabling cryptocurrency users to spend crypto assets like bitcoin and Binance Coin (BNB) in the region, Australia has become a favorable market for newcomers.
While it remains to be seen whether the cryptocurrency market of Australia could compete against regions like Singapore, South Korea, Malta, and other pro-cryptocurrency countries, the presence of compelling services could fuel the growth of the local market.
“Binance Lite also completes a comprehensive value chain for the Binance ecosystem in Australia. For example, users can show their friends how to buy bitcoin from Binance Lite stores, immediately load it up onto Trust Wallet on their phones, and go on to spend this bitcoin in shops accepting bitcoin payments through TravelbyBit, the payments startup Binance invested in last year.” said Zhou.