Cryptocurrency punters are now able to buy bitcoin and ethereum from 1200 newsagents across the country with nothing more than a digital wallet, $50, an email address and a phone number.
The move makes it easier for people interested in investing a small amount of money in cryptocurrencies to purchase bitcoin or ethereum, without needing to navigate the process of doing it online.
For newsagents, it’s also providing a new reason for shoppers to come into the stores, while newspaper and magazine sales decline.
Owner of the NewsXpress newsagent in Oxenford, Queensland, Domenic Zizza told The Australian Financial Review any value-adding service it can provide its customer base helps it win business.
“[The take-up] has been fairly substantial to say the least. In some instances it’s been a bit of a frenzy…people’s aspirations are high and this has provided an opportunity for punters to have a go, but at a small scale,” he said.
“The traditional newsagent is a dinosaur. There’s been a substantial decline in newspaper and magazine sales in the last three years and the transition to bring in additional value-added services to keep the business alive is a positive.”
Early stage of the technology
The sale of the two major cryptocurrencies in these retailers is thanks to a partnership between Bitcoin Australia and iOS-based payments system Blueshyft, which has enabled the transaction to occur directly through the Blueshyft payments platform.
Chief executive of Bitcoin Australia, Rupert Hackett, said the move into newsagencies was about “democratising” the process so everyday people can participate in this new asset class.
But he said there was some way to go before cryptocurrencies would be widely accepted as payment for goods and services.
“It’s something we’re exploring, but it has to reflect the level or size of the network,” Mr Hackett said.