Binance has announced the launch of a ‘new’ platform in Australia to buy Bitcoin with cash across 1,300 Newsagent locations across the country. The exact same service, however, already existed for over year.
Binance Sets Foot in Australia
The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance, has launched a cash-to-crypto platform in Australia, called Binance Lite Australia.
The service allows users to purchase Bitcoin with cash through a network of over 1,300 Newsagents stores across the country.
Per the release, the service currently only allows users to buy bitcoin using Australian Dollars (AUD), but it plans to support more fiat purchasing options and other digital currencies in the future.
Speaking on the matter was Binance’s CFO, Wei Zhou, who said:
Binance Lite Australia further expands digital currency adoption by providing easier ways to buy bitcoin. We are excited to continue to roll out more fiat to crypto gateways around the world to support the growth of our industry. […] We firmly believe that more adoption will lead to more innovation and more economic opportunities.
Some customers have already shared pictures online of their receipts after purchasing BTC using Binance Lite.
— Damien jones (@Kingdamoj) March 20, 2019
Nothing New Under the Sun
As it turns out, the service which Binance touts to bring “adoption of cryptocurrency use in Australia” already existed.
Bitcoinist reported over a year ago that a local exchange called bitcoin.com.au has enabled Australians to purchase bitcoins at Newsagents shops in Australia.
Unlike Binance’s offering, however, bitcoin.com.au also allows users to buy Ethereum. They can also use other payment methods such as online POLi payments, vouchers, electronic funds transfer through BPAY and OTC/ATM cash deposits to any Commonwealth Bank branch. Users are also allowed to sell Bitcoin.
Furthermore, it does seem like Binance has taken example from the previous service, as it does require the exact same KYC process, as well as setting the same minimum purchase limits.
Moreover, in October 2018, one of Australia’s oldest institutions, Australia Post, announced that its customers will be able to buy bitcoin on participating exchanges using its Digital ID service.
Bitcoinist has contacted Binance for comments but did not resceive any response at press time.
Prepare to Reveal Yourself
If anonymity is what you’re looking for, however, you might consider other options. Binance Lite Australia, as well as bitcoin.com.au, require users to go through a thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure.
Per the FAQ section of the platform, in order to complete the verification process, users are required to submit “up to 1-2” government issued ID document numbers, which may include your Driver’s Licence, Passport, or Medicare card.
Moreover, users are also required to confirm their residential address and share their mobile phone numbers.
As it also turns out, the platform isn’t that cheap to use as well. Binance Lite Australia will be charging its users a flat fee of 5 percent plus a Goods and Service Tax (GST) on every purchase.
For comparison, Coinbase charges credit and debit card buys on its platform a flat 3.99 percent fee.
Luckily, there are still various alternatives users can use to purchase Bitcoin with cash in Australia without having to reveal their identity.
One option is decentralized escrow platform Payfair, where users can purchase Bitcoin with cash without having to go through KYC verification.
Another peer-to-peer exchange that Australians can use is HodlHodl. It’s a global P2P cryptocurrency exchange, which has no KYC requirements. LocalBitcoins is also a P2P option. Both of these don’t require you to go through identity verification at the beginning, but their terms of service mention that the platforms “may” require your ID in certain events.
What do you think of Binance’s new platform in Australia? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
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