Just when you thought cryptocurrency couldn’t become any more popular with Australians, it’s now being used to pay bills.
Any biller that accepts BPAY can be paid using crypto and this includes more than 60,000 small and large businesses in Australia.
The most useful payment methods for many will be the ability to pay mortgage repayments, credit cards, phone and utility bills.
Australian crypto exchange Cointree has found the bill pay feature is fast becoming the norm with usage doubling in the past year.
For many the appeal lies in using crypto, which is a decentralised digital currency, rather than regular currencies that are regulated by government authorities.
A rising number of Australians are passionate about crypto because of the returns – over the past decade, cryptocurrency has produced an annualised return of more than 150 per cent – as well as it being an alternative to traditional bank accounts.
With crypto, bills can now be paid straight from exchange accounts – there’s no need to sell crypto assets and transfer the money back to a bank account.
Payments are made on the same day and bills are finalised with three to four days.
The popularity of crypto payments has grown, thanks to new technology attached to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Lightning Network is a second-layer protocol that allows users to securely make faster payments with lower fees.
As its name implies, the Lightning Network moves fast. Compared to the blockchain, which can only handle seven Bitcoin transactions per second, the Lightning Network can enable millions, even billions, of transactions per second.
Usage data reflects the convenience of the technology’s increasing speed, simplicity and security.
By measuring active nodes, or active users, on the Lightning Network it’s easy to see the incredible growth.
Australian crypto publication CoinCulture reported 7800 active nodes in 2020. This rose in 2021 to more than 27,000 active nodes.
But Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto you can use.
Bill payments can be made using many other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Solana, USDC, Avalanche and Dogecoin.
The only fees are a 1 per cent provider fee plus a coin sell fee of between 0.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent.
Visit Cointree’s website to learn more about paying with crypto.