Living Room of Satoshi, an Australian Bitcoin startup that allows its user base to pay their bills using the cryptocurrency bitcoin has reached an important milestone. The startup has announced that it has now processed a staggering $5 million in household bills with bitcoin - up from just $150,000 in 2014. By the end up 2015, that had risen to $1 million, though just 18 months later, the startup has managed to quintuple that sum with payments increasing to $5 million as of May of this year!
The key to the success of the startup - which is said to derive its name from the pseudonym for the person or group that pioneered bitcoin technology back in 2009 - appears to be its simplicity. Analysts say the startup has had so much success simply because the idea is a great one, allowing Australians to significantly simplify the bill-paying process. Users can make payments on an array of different bill types, including school fees, telecommunications, electricity, gas, water, and credit cards.
"As the first truly international, decentralized and peer to peer currency, bitcoin is perfectly suited to bill payments in Australia, It also enables new possibilities, like parents in foreign countries being able to easily support their children studying in Australia by paying some of their bills," the startup's chief executive, Daniel Alexiuc, told Business Insider AU last month, adding that the cryptocurrency is currently enjoying a surge in growth in Australia and across the world. "Bitcoin is experiencing rapid growth in 2017 due to its nature as an 'uncorrelated asset.' As an investment, it does not appear to be affected by movements in other currencies or precious metals, by global share markets, or by any particular industry or government. This makes it highly sought after by hedge fund managers and individuals looking to diversify their wealth."
Best of all, customers aren't charged any kind of fee for using the service. The company is reportedly able to profit by selling bitcoin on several different international exchanges, which allows it to get a better price than would be possible locally in Australia.
The startups' road to success wasn't without a few roadblocks. Most notably, in October 2014, it was forced to suspend its operations for a period of two months after an Australian Taxation Office ruled that GST for bitcoin transactions disrupted its business model. But Living Room of Satoshi has gone on to receive quite an impressive amount of acclaim and praise. In late 2015, the company received awards for the 'Best State Startup' for Queensland and the 'Best New Startup in Australia.'
The company has gone on to accrue a fairly sizeable following, most of who are just ordinary, everyday people paying off everyday bills. The company's website actually shows aggregate data for the payments users have made, with data showing credit card payment to be the most common use of the service. Phone/internet and electricity payments come in next, followed by school fees.
All in all, it looks like this idea will only continue to catch on over time, particularly as more countries make moves to legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and regulate their use. The company may have reached the $5 million mark now,1 but that could increase by multiples in the future.
1) Business Insider Australia. This fintech let Australians use Bitcoin to pay $5 million worth of everyday bills