Independent Reserve (IR) is an Australian Bitcoin exchange in Sydney that ran a pre-launch survey that reached 442 people from every corner of the world. From their survey, IR determined that only 8% of participants had used Bitcoin. However, more than half claimed that they "felt they…
Australia is still holding out as a Bitcoin bastion despite bad news, Bitcoin wallet scams, and Ostrich-like regulation. IR will charge a flat 0.5% fee and will not charge a goods and services tax (GST).
IR has chosen this time to emerge in Australia as they feel that Bitcoin’s regulatory position has been clarified both in Australia and surrounding countries such as New Zealand. Michael Go, a member of the IR Advisory Board, summarized IR’s enthusiasm:
The fact that regulators and industry watchdogs are taking Bitcoin seriously is an excellent thing. With increased regulation and vigilance comes improvements in the quality and safety of the industry as a whole, which is something we very much welcome. Bitcoin is an important form of payment for millions of people now, with very significant companies like Dell accepting them as payment, prices shown on Bloomberg terminals and Bitcoin ATMs opening every week. It’s really positive to see the ongoing legitimisation of the Bitcoin environment and its operators.
IR claims to have passed an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers and maintains close contact with Australian authorities ASIC and ATO.
The Australian double GST Bitcoin issue has forced some Australian Bitcoin companies, such as Living Room of Satoshi, to shut their doors. Hopefully, an Australian Senate inquiry into Bitcoin will change the Australian Bitcoin regulatory atmosphere for the better. Until then, IR will not be charging their Australian customers a GST because nobody deserves to be penalized for using Bitcoin. IR CTO Adrian Przelozny explained how IR does it:
We provide an open marketplace for buyers and sellers to meet – we don’t buy or sell Bitcoin in its own right. Therefore we are not required to collect GST on the value of Bitcoin traded. We do include GST as part of the brokerage fee charged to Australian customers, but we absorb that cost.
What do you think about a new Bitcoin exchange in Australia? Comment below!
Images from Shutterstock.
Last modified: February 13, 2020 5:07 PM UTC