Australian newsagencies numbering 1200 throughout Australia can now accept Bitcoin and Ethereum.
According to the Financial Review (AFR) Residents from Australia will be able to purchase BTC or ETH with just "$50, and email address and a phone number," News agents see this as a way of halting declining sales in newspapers and magazines. According to The News Xpress agent in Oxenford, Queensland, Domenic Zizza. "[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,"
The traditional newsagent is a dying breed with a substantial decline in newspaper and magazine sales in the last three years and the closure of many agencies. Rupert Hackett the CEO of Bitcoin Australia explained in an interview that the newsagency’s attempt is about "democratising" the process of acquiring digital assets. "Estimates indicated 2-3 percent of a country's population owns digital currency, so we're still at the early stage of the technology, but eventually we envision a world where you can buy or sell anything with cryptocurrency," Hackett said.
Perhaps sensing some competition, Adam Joy an executive of the Australian Lottery and Newsagent's Association reckons newsagents should be careful. "Newsagents have many ways to innovate that are much less concerning and fall within regulations and safeguards," says Joy. "When looking at cryptocurrency, in particular, businesses need to be aware of the level of illegal activity and lack of transparency attached to cryptocurrencies," the executive emphasized.
Australian authorities are currently preparing new laws to enable the regulation and monitoring of cryptocurrency traders for tax evasion, money laundering, and other illegal activities.
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