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Australia report: cryptocurrencies are known but unused

In Australia, more than 80% of people have heard of cryptocurrencies, but only 1% have used them in the last year to make purchases: this is what emerges from a report on consumer behaviour in 2019 conducted by the Reserve Bank, the local central bank. 

Research results show that Australians are changing their payment approaches: cash is slowly giving way to electronic and fast payment systems, such as mobile phone payments, especially for small purchases. Nonetheless, cash continues to be used mainly for low-value payments.

The vast majority of the analysis shows how much Australians prefer the use of cash or cards. What is clear is that the use of cash has fallen sharply from 2007 to 2019, though it remains the preferred method for the over-50 age group. In contrast, younger age groups choose card payments (mostly debit cards) and in some cases also the so-called “mobile payments”, i.e. payments made via smartphones. 

Cryptocurrencies as a payment system

The report then focuses on new payment methods in Australia, including cryptocurrencies. The survey shows the strong disproportion between those who are familiar with cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin and have heard of them and those who have actually used them: they are in fact a more known payment method than in-app systems, Pay-ID, AliChat and WePay. However, cryptocurrencies are also the least tested method among the new payment systems: only 1% have used them in the past 12 months. In other words, it is uncharted territory. 

The figure is surprising. Australia, in fact, appeared to be a country very conscious of the use of cryptocurrencies. It is enough to mention the various initiatives for collecting crypto donations to fight the fire emergency. 

Meanwhile, the Government seems to be particularly interested in the technology behind cryptocurrencies, namely blockchain, so much so that it wants to develop a project for its use on a national scale. 

Furthermore, Australia appears to be a particularly fertile land for Bitcoin Cash

According to another report, in February 2020 alone, 97% of the cryptocurrency transitions made with traders were made using Bitcoin Cash. However, the total volume remains very low at around $74,000

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo
Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.