Category Archives: Reserve Bank of Australia

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Crypto Fast Becoming Only Way to Pay in Northern Queensland

From Queensland International Airport to the northern parts of the state, this area of Australia is leading the rush in utilizing cryptocurrency as the way to pay, replacing more conventional card usage and the necessity to carry cash.

As covered by Bitcoin News last month and earlier this week in a televized BBC One piece on English TV, a microcosm of Queenslander’s changing crypto face has become the busy beachside tourist town of Agnes Water which has rightly laid claim to being the country’s first digital currency-friendly town.

With more than 30 businesses now taking Bitcoin as payment around the area including guest houses, hotels, restaurants, taxis, stores, and most retailers, payment is just a QR code away from an instant transaction. Now the region of North Queensland now boasts over 100 outlets for Bitcoin payments. As TravelbyBit’s CEO Caleb Yeoh observed regarding the new phenomenon:

“If you travel around the world you have to deal with multiple currencies, the exchange rate can be confusing, sometimes you struggle to find ATMs, and sometimes you get swindled by money changers… Travelling with one global currency like Bitcoin… makes sense.”

The move towards accepting Bitcoin for fast cardless payments is not only gaining traction as it moves its way around Northern Queensland. In some areas, cryptocurrency is now becoming the preferred method of payment along with Bitcoin Cash, and in some case its the only way to pay, putting credit and debit cards under pressure.

As one Reddit user observed, “Many merchants in North Queensland are choosing to accept only Bitcoin Cash, these merchants are well informed and well organized, why are they choosing to concentrate on Bitcoin Cash for their electronic commerce needs.”

Users in Northern Queensland often have numerous crypto methods of payment at their disposal including, NEM (XEM), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH) which doesn’t simply limit them to a choice of one currency. Freedom of choice seems to be the requirement of most users when it comes to preferred methods of QR payment, many having multiple currency wallets accessed through their phones.

In July, a senior representative of Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) predicted that there would be little likelihood of Bitcoin being widely adopted in Australia in the future due to its price volatility compared to the stability of the Australian dollar.

A trip to Northern Queensland may offer the RBA rep a picture of the future, particularly if the movement spreads across the states at its current pace. Currently, for many in the area, the only way to pay is in crypto.


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Bank of Queensland Rules out Crypto Purchases Using Mortgage Equity

The Australian Financial Review has reported that the Bank of Queensland will prohibit its customers to use loan equity to purchase cryptocurrency.

The Bank of Queensland, one of Australia’s largest banks, which is publicly traded on the country’s stock exchange, has made the move as it believes recent crypto price instability has made amendments to its rules necessary. Other banks have discouraged its borrowers using real-estate mortgages for crypto purchases, but as yet haven’t officially prohibited the activity.

The bank has stated in its new rules “any loan purpose that involves the acquisition of or usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable”.

Australian regulators are increasing scrutiny over crypto space. Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency, has announced new rulings which have mandated further customer scrutiny across cryptocurrency exchanges. Added to this, the Australian tax office has sought public feedback regarding crypto earnings.

Also, the ATO reported that it would be enforcing its tax requirements this year by using 100-point checks, a security checking system long favored by the Australian government and other sectors, and also call on bilateral agreements with other countries to identify users for tax payment purposes. There are currently over 40 countries who have such agreements with Australia including the US and the UK.

It’s been reported that some lenders are now monitoring borrowers accounts in order to check if such accounts are being used for cryptocurrency trading. An anonymous broker reportedly claimed, “They (banks) are concerned because the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Austrac are crawling all over it.”

In a similar move, but in this case focusing on customer credit, banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have suggested bans on credit being used to purchase cryptocurrency due to the volatility of the market.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official Tony Richards in a speech to the Australian Business Economists recently expressed his admiration of Bitcoin but thought it would not be adopted into the country’s mainstream financial system.


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Australian Banker’s Misinformed Bitcoin Claims Corrected by Experts

Australian Banker Tony Richard has been criticized by experts over his misinformed claims regarding cryptocurrency spouted during his speech at the Australian Business Economists in Sydney, on June 26th.

Richard is currently employed as head of the payments policy department at the Reserve Bank of Australia [RBA].

Richard’s critique

After first diving into an explanation of the basics of Bitcoin, he concluded that it cannot be categorized as a currency but instead as a ”crypto-asset.” He continued by citing that the annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin mining network is similar to that of entire countries such as Switzerland, Chile, and Austria.

Another controversial statement from Richard claimed that the high processing power requires a high amount of energy ”mainly for air conditioning to cool computer servers.”

Richard went so far as to support descriptions of bitcoin mining as an ”environmental disaster”, saying these accusations are ”not surprising.”

The backlash

These points that he offered as facts came under harsh scrutiny from several Bitcoin experts including entrepreneur Jason Smith and the Editor of Bitcoin Think, who goes by the handle Beautyon.

Smith pointed to the publically available hash power data and the prominent usage of green energy in mining setups as a verified contradiction of Richard’s claims. He rejected Richard’s misinformed statements, pointing him to look into the published data.

Beautyon offered a similar criticism on their Twitter account, questioning how the Head of Payments Policy Department at the reserve bank of Australia could not have peer-reviewed his speech. ”All his objections come from other sources and are wrong. Most astonishing is that they think no one is watching,” they said.

Posting again on Twitter, Beautyon condemned those such as Richard whos ”lives rely on the fraudulent fiat system” saying they will ”lie to you about Bitcoin.”

Remember. People whose livelihoods rely on the fraudulent fiat system are going to lie to you about Bitcoin. They are not going to stop lying. Ever. Because they’re not intelligent, they can’t come up with their own lies, and will copypasta lies from other liars. Easy to spot.

— Beautyon (@Beautyon_) June 27, 2018


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