Australians are now able to buy bitcoin at their local newsstands with cash, according to media reports.
The technology was deployed last Thursday to approximately 1,200 newsagents across the country, reported the Australian Financial Review. The newsstands are equipped with iPads with dedicated apps to conduct the sale of bitcoin.
The publication said the initiative is a joint venture between Sydney-based fintech firm Blueshyft and Australian bitcoin exchange Bitcoin.com.au, both of which have prominent backers and history in the bitcoin industry.
Matt Handbury, Blueshyft’s owner, is the nephew of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, while Bitcoin.com.au is under the umbrella of Global Internet Ventures, which set up Byabitcoin, a major bitcoin exchange in Australia a couple of year ago.
The Financial Review said the companies expect approximately 15 million transactions in the first year of the new initiative, with transactions averaging about $150 to $200 AUD.
According to Mashable Australia, the companies will take four percent commission on sales.
Rupert Hackett, general manager of Bitcoin.com.au, told Mashable that by going in-store, the bitcoin exchange and Blueshyft hope to foster trust by offering a tangible experience. “It’s hard to trust the current Bitcoin exchanges because the process is very vague to the consumer,” he said. “We believe that through this retail partnership, we’re offering a proper branding that will give a lot of trust to the consumer.”
Currently, the purchase minimum is $50; however, the companies would like to lower that further and reduce barriers to entry, Hackett said. “Ideally we’d like to get to A$1 minimum transaction,” he said. “Our idea is that if we can take the change in your pockets and make that of more value in digital form, that will encourage bigger and bigger purchases.”
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