The cryptocurrency payments market in Australia is starting to offer a wide range of consumer options, with a payment platform provider securing a securities licence that will allow it to expand its operations.
Cryptocurrency payment platform Paid By Coins announced last week that it had completed the necessary regulatory requirements to become an AFSL Authorised Representative, giving it the potential to expand its market.
The Paid By Coins platform has been designed to allow consumers to use their cryptocurrency to make payments. It accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, BitcoinCash, Ripple and Litecoin.
It converts the cryptocurrency into ‘fiat’ currency (legal tender) and uses the cash to make payments to the issuer of an invoice or into a bank account. It charges a fee for the transaction.
Paid By Coins was launched by Lakeba Group but was acquired last year by ASX-listed digital payments and loyalty scheme operator Mobecom.
Under its AFSL licence Paid By Coins will be the authorised representative of Flexewallet, which is owned by Novatti Group, another ASX-listed company developing cryptocurrency services.
For the six months to the end of December, Paid By Coins earned revenue of $1.4 million. During this period, because the company did not have an AFSL the maximum transaction size it could execute was $1000.
With the AFSL in place, Paid By Coins is now able to facilitate transactions worth up to $50,000 each.
In other cryptocurrency payments developments, in November blockchain tech company Ivy and cryptocurrency broker HiveEx.com announced that they had joined forced to launch a new payment service IvyPay, which allows people to convert their cryptocurrency into ‘fiat’ currency.
The IvyPay platform can be used to transfer cryptocurrency into fiat currency, into a bank account or pay a bill.
Ivy was founded in 2017 and is part-owned by ASX-listed Change Financial. HiveEx is part of Finder Ventures, the venture capital arm of the comparison website Finder.
IvyPay says users pay a “nominal” rate on the currency spread and a 2 per cent fee. The fee is reduced to 1 per cent if payments are made in IvyKoin.
Ivy president Ash Shilkin says: “We are still a way off from cryptocurrency being a widely accepted form of payment but our partnership with HiveEx will enable everyday Australians to use cryptocurrency to pay their bills, pay off their credit cards or convert to Australian dollars deposited in their bank account.
Ivy estimates that 2.6 million Australians own cryptocurrency and a lot more are considering it. A small number of bills are paid now using cryptocurrency.
HiveEx co-founder Fred Schebesta says there are some potential advantages to using cryptocurrency for payments. “Cryptocurrency has no borders or country associations, which means you could pay someone in the US with crypto and avoid currency exchange fees. Another advantage is that transactions are transparent.”
And in September, bill payment company Gobbill announced a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Cointree to allow people to pay bills using cryptocurrencies.
According to a media release, bills issued in Australia can be paid using cryptocurrency held in a Cointree wallet.
At the moment the service only allows payments using Bitcoin but other cryptocurrencies will be added to the service.
Cointree claims to have 50,000 Australian members. Its platform supports a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.