CoinJar, a Melbourne-based startup, creates the first Australian debit Bitcoin card allowing users to “carry” Bitcoin along and spend them using EFTPOS terminals.
The company reports their card being tested by 100 long-term clients. CoinJar’s creation is expected to be fully accessible to everyone in a few weeks. As of 9/18/2014 these cards were used to make Bitcoin payments to the total amount of $500. CoinJar charges a small service fee of 1% for every transaction.
The feasibility of creating this kind of payment card became apparent when CoinJar’s CEO Asher Tan realized the company has processed Bitcoin transactions made by 30,000 clients and worth $50+ million over the last 12 months.
Recent years have seen the development of Bitcoin in Australia: the first Bitcoin ATMs have been opened in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, and the new ones are expected to come to other Australian cities. According to some estimates, Australians account for about 7% of all existing Bitcoins. Asher Tan says CoinJar “just wanted to make sure” their customers could “spend their Bitcoins even more easier”.
The company is very proud of the fact that they managed to launch their Bitcoin card almost immediately after the refusal of the Australian Taxation Office to recognize Bitcoin as a currency. Now that BTC in Australia is considered just a kind of property, local Bitcoin companies are obliged to pay additional taxes.