Most of us have a mate (or have heard of a mate’s mate) who has done pretty well by investing in Bitcoin or alternative cryptocurrencies.
The rise of these digital currencies has been a solid investment tool in recent years with some incredible success stories, like Australian man James Gilbert who became a billionaire by trading in Bitcoin.
But what about real world applications? When it comes to cryptocurrencies, which are the ones that you can use to actually purchase goods and services in Australia?
Here is a guide to some of the digital currencies out there that you can use in the real world.
This is the most recognisable and common cryptocurrency, which began life in 2009 and has experienced a tremendous period of growth — in terms of investment and transactions — ever since.
The popularity of Bitcoin means that there has been a steady uptake in the volume of vendors that will accept the payment as well as methods to translate it to regular Australian currency.
Major companies like Microsoft accept Bitcoin for payment, but there are a host of local vendors that do as well. Using the website coinmap.org you can see the vendors accepting the cryptocurrency, which are mainly located in major population spots along the eastern seaboard. These include various businesses like restaurants, legal services, technology vendors and health service providers.
On top of this, almost 3000 Bitcoin automatic teller machines are being launched across Australia that allow people to convert their digital currency into cold, hard cash.
Bitcoin may be the most common cryptocurrency, but it might not be for long.
From its launch in 2014 to January 2018, Ethereum has surged in value by more than 2000 percent and has received the endorsement of major companies like Accenture, Microsoft, Intel, JPMorgan Chase and UBS.
Australian businesses are also following suit, with Lehman Walsh Lawyers the first legal service to accept Ethereum as payment. Mobile wallets like CoinJar allow you to use Ethereum to make purchases and withdraw cash from regular ATMs as well.
One of the newer cryptocurrencies on the scene is Ripple, which is more complex than its rivals but is also faster and more versatile.
This digital currency allows for real time transfers between two different 'normal' currencies, like the Japanese ¥ (Yen) to Australian dollar, for example.
It eliminates the time constraints and fees associated with regular exchanges and has attracted interest from major banks as an exchange platform — including National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp.
Apple recently incorporated Ripple into its Apple Pay platform, which means exchanges can be completed in just four seconds, creating a fast and easy money exchange platform for people across the globe.
While the previously mentioned cryptocurrencies are starting to bleed into the mainstream, they still have a long way to go to become commonly used payment platforms.
Liven has taken the stress out of the process, with LVN - the world’s first digital currency for food backed by brick and morter businesses. For the past 3 years, Liven has been gaining a strong user following providing a rewards and mobile payment platform for over 220,000 Australians.
The premise is simple, users download the app to discover amazing restaurants and dine at any one of the 1000+ outlets in Australia. (We’re expanding internationally by end of year!)
Once the meal is finished, users pay via the app with one click and earn 10-30% of their bill in LVN. This means you mine crypto every time you do something you love; eat! These LVN tokens can then be used to pay for your next meal within this network of merchant partners, held indefinitely, traded, or donated to a charity. The really cool thing is that you can pay and earn crypto even if the vendor doesn’t accept cryptocurrency as payment. The app handles all of the hard work, all you have to do is eat.
Many Australians are confused about how cryptocurrencies work and vendors are equally hesistent in accepting it as a form of payment. Liven has solved that problem for both users and merchant partners,
as crypto in doesn’t have to mean crypto out for Liven’s 1000+ partner merchants.
Registrations for LVN pre-sale are open NOW!