Australia’s top regulator has dismissed claims cryptocurrency is too expensive to use and called on users to accept the digital currency’s low transaction costs.
Key points:Bitcoin is the first digital currency to reach more than $1 trillion in market cap in AustraliaThe Federal Government said cryptocurrency is worth more than any other asset in Australia”We’re just not sure that there’s enough people out there to take advantage of it,” Assistant Treasurer Scott Morrison said.
“We don’t know whether there’s going to be a great uptake in it.”
Mr Morrison said he was surprised that so many Australians were unaware of bitcoin, saying the technology was in its infancy.
“It’s just not a household name in Australia.
It’s really hard to understand what it is,” he said.
He said bitcoin had about 90 per the market cap of the Australian dollar, which is the biggest in the world.
“When we were starting out we were not so sure about it.
I think that’s because it’s so young, so it’s been a bit of a mystery to a lot of people,” he told ABC Radio National.”
Bitcoin is just one of those things that people have not really thought through.”
I think we’re going to see more people taking advantage of this technology.”‘
Not ready to sell’Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency with no central authority.
It is used to send and receive payments to each other, which can be done anonymously.
It has risen in value in recent years, and is believed to have risen more than 500 per cent since January.
In a recent speech, Mr Morrison said that the cryptocurrency market had “more than 90 percent market share” in Australia, but said the amount of people using it was not yet clear.”
The vast majority of people have never heard of it.
But I think a lot more people are getting into it,” he added.
Mr Morrison was asked about the cryptocurrency’s low cost compared to other assets such as gold and silver.”
This is a lot less expensive than a lot a lot others.
It costs less than a thousand dollars, and the fact that it’s anonymous means that you don’t need a bank account,” he replied.”
So you can take it out to the bar or the restaurant, you can buy something with it, and it’s not like the US or any other country where you need a US bank account or an American passport to get into the country.
“But the fact is that you can use this to make transactions with people and not have to have a bank.”
Mr Abbott said it was a “huge leap forward” for digital currencies, saying that there was “much more going on in the cryptocurrency world than you may realise”.
“It is a huge leap forward for digital currency, it’s a huge challenge for the technology itself, it is a challenge for banks,” he noted.
“There are people in Australia who are actually going to pay with Bitcoin.”‘
We’re ready to buy’Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it was important to recognise that digital currencies were not yet ready to be sold and he welcomed bitcoin’s rapid rise.
“Digital currencies are not yet a financial product, they’re not yet even a currency,” he explained.
“They’re not even a payment system.
They’re not a payment network.
They don’t even exist yet, and we’re ready for them to be bought.”
Bitcoin has surged in value over the past year as more users have embraced the technology.
Earlier this month, the price hit an all-time high of more than US$5,200 (AU$5.2, €5,500) a bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency was created in 2009 and is widely used for anonymous transactions.
It’s estimated that more than a billion people around the world have signed up to use it.
The government said it had already begun discussions with regulators around digital currencies and said it would continue to look at the technology to ensure it was in line with its objectives.