More than 1,200 Australian local shops are to offer their customers the ability to buy bitcoin, ethereum, and other established digital currencies, starting this September 19th.
CoinSpot, which claims to be Australia’s biggest exchange, said they will be enabling cash deposits instantly into CoinSpot accounts from over 1,200 participating newsagents.
They provided no further details on the matter at the time of writing. With such questions as the nature of the shops and their locations remaining somewhat unclear.
The exchange does not appear to be regulated as far as we can tell, but they are a member of Australia’s Digital Commerce Association, a non-profit pressure group.
The announcement is made just days after Australia’s conservative government tabled a bill to repeal ATA’s double taxation and remove Goods and Services Taxes (GST) on digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
The center-right coalition aims to encourage fintech innovation, taking such measures as providing tax incentives, as well as setting up a sandbox to accommodate innovative projects.
They appear to largely be following Britain’s approach, but in the matter of adoption, private enterprise there seems to be ahead, with UK generally, and even London itself, lacking the infrastructure of simply buying bitcoin or ethereum down the corner shop.
The reason remains unclear. Banks have been accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices, closing down accounts of blockchain businesses or making it very difficult to open an account.
Regulators, across the world, have taken no direct steps on that point as far as we are aware, probably due to the complexity and difficulty of the matter.
But indirect steps have been taken by UK’s FCA, including the forcing of banks to open their APIs so that fintechs can compete and new participants can enter the market.
On the latter, we are still waiting for a crypto-bank. Something talked about with many projects expressing ambitions to reach the level, but as of now, there is no such bank as far as we are aware.
Yet, the infrastructure continues to be built, with this latest announcement of 1,200 Australian local shops offering the service of buying bitcoin suggesting it may be just a matter of time until we all see those cheery colorful logos at our very doorsteps.