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Australians Can Pay with Bitcoin at the Post Office

buy bitcoin at the post office

April 1, 2021 | 

1155 Views | 

JOHN K MWANIKI | 

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Bitcoin paved the way for the introduction and later proliferation of altcoins. There are more than 5,000 altcoins around today. Since its inception, Bitcoin has come a long way, which may explain why it is more readily accepted by more institutions and big-name investors worldwide now than before. Thanks to a collaboration between Bitcoin.com.au and the Australian Post Office through Post Billpay, Australians can now buy Bitcoin at the Post Office

Bitcoin.com.au is a cryptocurrency exchange that is based in Cremorne in Australia. According to data by the Australian Taxation Office, there are approximately 500,000 to 1 million Australians who own digital assets. This increased interest in digital assets proves the need for the government and institutions to regulate purchase methods for purchasing digital assets and verify the number of people who own digital assets. Having Australians buy Bitcoin at the Post office is a simple way to accomplish these two goals. 

How it works

The collaboration was first announced on May 4, 2020. The process of buying Bitcoin at the Post office starts at Bitcoin.com.au, and going to the post office is the last step. The process can be broken down into three phases which are pretty easy for anyone to follow. 

Phase 1: Visit Bitcoin.com.au

First, you will log onto your Bitcoin.com.au account on your device. You can do this at any time and on any device. You will choose how much money you wish to spend, between $50 and $50,000. Input either the amount you want to spend or the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy. You will choose between Ethereum and Bitcoin for now. Place your order and copy the Wallet address from the application. 

Please note that you have to make the payment at the Australian Post office within two hours of placing your order.  This means that you should check if the post office near you is open so that you can go there to complete your payment. 

Phase 2: Go to postbillpay.com.au

In Post Billpay, select the buy Bitcoin option in their menu. Input the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy, then input the wallet address you copied from the Bitcoin.com.au page. If it is your first time buying Bitcoin with Billpay, you may be required to provide your ID card for verification and other helpful personal information. This verification complies with the Australian government’s regulation. Finally, confirm that all the details you have put are correct and lock in your transaction. 

Phase three: Pay for Bitcoin at the Post Office

Go to the Post Office nearest to your location and show them the locked transaction. You should be able to pay either in cash or EFTPOS. EFTPOS stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at point of sale. It refers to any form of electronic payment, for example, using your debit or credit card. You should carry your ID to the post office just in case more verification is needed. 

After you have completed this process, the coins should appear in your wallet in a few minutes. You will also get an email confirming the transaction and information you can use to track your transactions on the blockchain. 

Merits of the Bitcoin.com.au and Australian’s Post Office collaboration

This move by the Australian Post Office is a good endorsement for cryptocurrencies at a time when ambivalence about digital currencies reigns supreme. That show of faith will go a long way in encouraging Australians to try their hand in this new asset class. The second advantage is that using bill payment options Australians are already comfortable with will encourage those interested in venturing into digital commodities investments to start. This is because new investors may trust the post office more than online brokers. 

Demerits of the collaboration

The main demerit of this collaboration is the high transaction fees charged for making the purchases. When you buy Bitcoin at the Post Office, you pay around 7% in fees. Here is a breakdown of the fees. 

  • The standard Bitcoin.com.au commission fee of 3.9%

  • A 2% surcharge for using this payment option with Post Billpay

  • Approximately 1.2% spread. 

Note: The spread is the difference between the market price and the price the broker charges – in this case, bitcoin.com.au. For example, if the market price of BTCUSD is $35,500 and the price shown at Bitcoin.com.au is $35,560, the $60 difference is the spread. (These are arbitrary values for demonstration and do not represent actual world values)

The argument that Bitcoin.com.au is a trusted entity can be turned on its head when you consider that Bitcoin is not an entity and has no official relationship with Bitcoin.co.au. This is not to say that Bitcoin.com.au is not to be trusted but that they are not the only authorized way to buy Bitcoin. They are simply a broker. This implies that this agreement may just be another way to charge Australians exorbitant fees for services that they can get at a fraction of the fees charged when they buy Bitcoin at the post office

For example, if you want to buy Bitcoin through Blueshyft, you will be able to buy your Bitcoin with cash, and you will only be charged 1.5% as the processing fee. They may have fewer outlets at 1500 to the Post offices’ 3500, but that is no reason to charge more than 4x their processing fee. If you decide to use CoinJar, their processing fee is 1% without debit card fees. This is one-seventh of the fees you will be charged for using the Posts Billpay option. 

Conclusion

There have been moves by some big-name companies like PayPal, MasterCard, and Square either expressing interest in or investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the last few months. This is a change in tune from the expressions of mistrust that have been rampant in the past. This collaboration between Bitcoin.com.au and the Australian Post office to help its citizens to purchase Bitcoin in the post office is a great show of faith in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The problem of exorbitant fees aside, the project is a great way to encourage Australian citizens who are crypto curious citizens to try their hand in this new asset class. 

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