Ivypay, a cryptocurrency-based payments platform, was launched in Australia on Nov. 19. The service — built by blockchain company Ivy in partnership with Hiveex, a cryptocurrency broker — allows Australians to use digital currencies to pay bills and transfer money directly into their bank accounts.
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Mainstreaming Cryptocurrency Use
The developers of Ivypay, which was released in beta earlier this month, aim to bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream by streamlining the spending process. Users pay a 2 percent fee on the total amount of each transfer. The application currently supports bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and ripple.
“Our partnership … 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 accounts at some of the lowest rates on the market,” Ash Shilkin, president of Ivy, said in a statement to news.Bitcoin.com.
Shilkin acknowledged that virtual currencies are still far from reaching widespread adoption as a means of payment. However, applications such as Ivypay are starting to bring such objectives closer to reality, he claimed.
“We are pleased to have Ivypay on the market, while we build out the Ivy network as a bridge between those with cryptocurrency, and traditional financial institutions,” said Shilkin, adding that the company will roll the service out in countries such as the U.S. later this year.
Limited Cryptocurrency Use for Bill Payments
A recent survey by Hiveex and Ivypay indicated that about 2.58 million Australians now own cryptocurrencies of some form, with more than 2,500 bills paid in virtual currencies in the country every month. Of those who don’t own digital assets, 49.5 percent said they would buy some or consider doing so if they could transfer funds directly into their bank accounts. One in 10 respondents who said they don’t own cryptocurrencies stated that they are hesitant to invest because they can’t easily transfer such currencies into their bank accounts, according to the companies, which surveyed 1,997 Australians.
“Despite cryptocurrency being around for the past decade, it still has quite a while to go before it’s as widely used as fiat currencies, like the Australian dollar,” said Fred Schebesta, co-founder of Hiveex, a company that was established in February to help people buy and sell cryptocurrencies, particularly large trades of more than 50,000 Australian dollars ($36,500).
We wanted to help build a platform to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto. It’s inevitable that cryptocurrency will have mass adoption when we create more ways to use it that are easier and cheaper alternatives to traditional banking. It’s going to shake up the way we pay for everything.
Founded in 2017, Ivy is partly owned by Australian Stock Exchange-listed Change Financial. It raised over $17 million at the start of this year in a private sale of tokens to build out its blockchain-based payments technology.
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