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Australia Post Delivers ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Service to Its 11.7 Million Customers

One of Australia’s oldest institutions, Australia Post, has announced that customers will now be able to buy bitcoin on participating exchanges within minutes through its Digital iD service.


Australia Post Delivers Bitcoin

Now Australians will be able to buy bitcoin through their post office. Australia Post lets users sign up to local Bitcoin exchanges through its Digital iD service, which eliminates the need to take selfies and verify documents.

Think ‘Log in with Facebook or LinkedIn’ button, but for buying BTC 00.

Brisbane-based Bitcoin exchange, Digital Surge, for example, is among the first adopters of the Digital iD platform, local news outlet Micky reports.

Director of Digital Surge, Josh Lehman, says the new service helps speed up the registration process that could discourage many potential users.

“Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes,
instead of the days it takes other exchanges,” Mr Lehman explained.

For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s licence or
passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes.

Digital iD also works with Australian companies Coinjar and Coin Loft, and could boost confidence for potential investors, who were previously reluctant to submit personal data to questionable online services.

Digital Identity Service Struggles

Australia Post has struggled with its Digital iD program, however, with budget hand staff cuts amid controversy and a potential conflict of interest with another government digital ID program, according to local news portal Innovationaus. In addition, an attempt to gauge the possibility of private sector funding has also been “halted.” 

The Digital iD project was rolled out earlier this year after development began in 2016 with 13 participating organizations, a number which has now grown to over 40, including Queensland Police, CUA, and Airtasker.

The process is simple. Customers submit their national ID such as a driver license or passport once, and then only use a smartphone app and QR codes instead. But ultimately, Australia Post’s Digital iD service does store all of this personal information and (purportedly) lets users share only the bits of data that are required for verification on participating platforms. 

“Digital iD gives people more control over the personal data they share with organizations,” General Manager of Australia Post’s Digital iD, Cameron Gough, says. 

Australia Could be an ICO Hub

A Privacy for Usability Tradeoff

Using this new way to buy bitcoin in Australia may indeed become the easiest method currently available. At the same time, there is a tradeoff for people who value privacy.

In June, Bitcoinist reported that the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) announced it will collect Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on cryptocurrency gains. In other words, users should expect to pay capital gains tax since their newly-purchased bitcoin can be easily traced to their digital ID.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped Australians from buying bitcoin as the number of cryptocurrency holders has nearly tripled since the beginning of 2018. Therefore, Australia Post, which services 11.7 million addresses across the country based on the latest data, could attract some new buyers of bitcoin who prefer to trust a government corporation over some off-shore exchange.

Would you use Australia Post to buy bitcoin? Let us know below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Říj 09

University of Melbourne Piloting Recipient-Owned Blockchain Records

· October 9, 2017 · 4:00 pm

The University of Melbourne has announced plans to pilot blockchain based certification and verification based scheme, allowing a private, secure and long-lasting way to verify their student’s credentials.


Bitcoin Degrees

The University of Melbourne is trialing a blockchain-based record keeping program, allowing recipients to both store their credentials and allow third party access for verification purposes. Learning Machine are behind the issuing system using the Blockcerts open source code developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2016.

Professor Gregor Kennedy, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, explained:

While we are entirely committed to the existing degrees and awards that the University offers, we are also interested in exploring how we can build a more diverse credentialing ecosystem. Issuing credentials on the blockchain is a key component of this investigation.

Blockcerts Open Source Code and Wallet

The Blockcerts code is freely available to the public under the MIT open source license. One of the key benefits of the blockchain is that a recipient owns their credentials and that they will be available to be verified by third parties even if the issuer, in this case, the University of Melbourne, ceases to exist.

Students can access and share their credentials via an open source mobile phone wallet app, enabling them to easily show potential employers that they have the qualifications that they say they have. The benefits of verifying information in this manner include cost savings for the issuing university, security and the prevention of potential fraudulent misrepresentation when it comes to declaring actual qualifications.

Learning Machines CEO Chris Jagers stated:

The blockchain is an innovation that gives institutions brand protection while also giving individuals the benefit of owning their official records and taking them anywhere. Both issuers and recipients immediately gain a level of independence and security that wasn’t possible before.

Learning Machine

Learning Machine is a US based company with headquarters in Cambridge, MA. The company is quick to point out that this undertaking by the University of Melbourne is a first in the Asia-Pacific region, and Learning Machines is keen to spread blockchain-based solutions across a broad range of sectors.

Natalie Smolenski, Head of Business Development at Learning Machines, told Newswire:

Institutions all over the world–universities, governments, corporations, and others–are coming to terms with the logistical challenges of an increasingly mobile, global workforce and student body. The blockchain upgrades legacy methods of credentialing and verification, increasing both the security and efficiency of records processing. The Learning Machine platform makes creating, issuing, and managing blockchain records simple and intuitive at scale.

Do you think record keeping and credentials verification on the blockchain are more secure than current traditional methods? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of the Bitcoinist archives

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