A new service by Living Room of Satoshi allows Australians to send BTC funds direct to a bank account in a single transaction. The move allows digital currency users to directly pay individuals outside of the bitcoin loop, extending the potential reach of cryptocurrency.
Working on the same platform as the Australian company's national bill-paying offering, the new “Pay Anyone” function, launched on June 14, applies the same service to individual's personal bank accounts.
Users can enter the details of the receiving account and the amount, and then send Living Room of Satoshi the requested BTC amount to initiate the transfer, essentially removing the problems of on/off ramps between the Bitcoin and fiat ecosystems. This means Australians can use digital currency for a greater range of day-to-day activities, such as sending a payment directly to a friend who may not be aware that Bitcoin even exists.
The bill payments company recently won a national award for “Best New Startup” at the StartUp Smart event. Describing the bill payment market that the company has so far targeted, CEO Daniel Alexiuc said:
“When I announced in my acceptance speech that our major competitor BPAY was owned by the Big 4 Australian banks, there were sympathetic boos and jeers. But it soon turned to thunderous applause when I warned the bill payments behemoth to ‘Look out! This plucky little startup from Queensland is coming for you!’”
Digital currency startups down under have had a tough time following a decision by the Australian Tax Office in December 2014, which applied General Sales Tax to many BTC transactions. The wording of the regulations also risked double-taxation on some exchange operations, as businesses must file both the funds received and the digital currency units sent as taxable income and sales respectively, for their tax returns.
Solutions found by some startups have ranged from CoinLoft switching to a more peer-to-peer model, in which they no longer supply digital currency units directly from their business, to CoinJar relocating their office to friendlier jurisdictions such as London.
For Living Room of Satoshi, the company is staying put in Australia, but whilst discussing the future of the business on /r/bitcoin, CEO Alexiuc commented that they could be looking to expand into other international markets in the future:
“After NZ, Canada looks like the most attractive prospect for us. We'd love to set up shop there!”
Living Room of Satoshi was founded in 2014, and has processed over AUD$500,000 (US$386,000) of bill payments for Australians, using their BTC funded service. The platform works on top of a national B-Pay system operated by the major four national banks and allows users to pay credit card, energy, internet, and other common bills online.