Running a business means mitigating your risk while establishing an infrastructure for profitability. If you’ve adopted this mindset in your business affairs, carrying it over into your personal finance can be very rewarding. Business owners can make successful investors, with their meticulous nature and eye for detail, not to mention having the golden ratio of gut instinct and risk-aversion that can often lead to success. And understanding the business landscape can allow them to make swift yet well-informed decisions. Any seasoned investor will tell you that a diverse portfolio is the key to balancing risk and reward.
As well as stocks, shares, foreign currencies and all kinds of physical commodities, many savvy investors also use bitcoin to round out their portfolio. Here, we’ll look at where and how to buy bitcoin in Australia.
What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first and most popular cryptocurrency, invented in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Like all cryptocurrencies, bitcoin uses blockchain technology and is completely decentralised. Transactions are made on a peer-to-peer network.
Its popularity lies in its anonymity, security and (theoretical) insulation from the economic fluctuations that can befall most conventional investments. Unlike Forex, cryptocurrencies are not tied to the economic health of any given nation. So bitcoin investments won’t tank in the event of a recession.
Critics within the financial services industry argue that bitcoin’s relative youth and complexity makes it a very risky investment. But advocates simply shrug: “Well, that’s exactly what they would say!”.
Bitcoin has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, with a growing number of retailers and service providers have begun to accept payment via bitcoin in Australia.
How to buy bitcoin in Australia
Investing in bitcoin carries an element of risk. You should start small and invest cautiously, monitoring the progress of your investments and adjusting your strategy in line with your short and long-term goals.
If you want to buy bitcoin in Australia, there are a number of ways to get your hands on it (metaphorically speaking).
Buy bitcoin from a crypto exchange
Online cryptocurrency exchange services allow you to securely buy bitcoin and exchange it for other cryptocurrencies, or fiat currencies from around the world. These services charge a small commission on transactions.
Crypto exchange is heavily policed and regulated by the Australian Transaction Reports, the federal government’s financial intelligence agency.
Some of the best-known and most trusted bitcoin exchange services in Australia include:
Buy A Bitcoin
Get paid in bitcoin for goods and services
If you’d rather not rely on an intermediary for your bitcoin, you can derive them from the goods and services that you offer to your customers or clients. As long as you have a bitcoin digital wallet (available from the Apple or Google Play stores), you can accept bitcoin as a form of payment.
In practical terms, there are a number of ways in which you can accept bitcoin payments:
Integrate custom point of sale (POS) terminals in your physical store / premises.
Use online payment processing systems that can automatically exchange bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) into Australian dollars, or any fiat currency you like.
Use QR codes that customers can scan with their smartphones to generate transactions in a bitcoin digital wallet app.
Mine your own bitcoins
In the early days of bitcoin, it became popular to mine the currency using specialist software. Today, however, the barriers to entry are extremely high, with mining dominated by larger centralised miners with huge networks of computers.
Mining is the term used for finding new and previously unreleased Bitcoins. The process involves verifying bitcoin transactions across numerous networks and gathering them into boxes with virtual padlocks that can be opened with special software. This requires an extraordinary amount of processing power, however, making it cost-prohibitive to newcomers.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about Bitcoin, investments, or any other aspect of your finances, then get in touch with our financial experts. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.