On Wednesday (March 20th), cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced the launch of Binance Lite Australia, "a cash-to-bitcoin brokerage service where users can purchase bitcoin by depositing cash at a network of supported newsagents across Australia."
In a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, Binance calls the new service "the easiest way to buy Bitcoin with cash in Australia," and says that Binance Lite Australia marks its "first fiat gateway on the blockchain continent, and provides a secure and reliable cash-to-bitcoin brokerage service through a network of 1,300+ supported Newsagents across Australia."
Although Binance Lite Australia currently only allows purchasing one type of cryptocurrency—Bitcoin—and one type of payment method—cash (in Australian dollars)—there are plans to add support for purchasing other cryptocurrencies and also to add support for other fiat payment options in the future.
Wei Zhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Binance, had this to say:
“Binance Lite Australia further expands digital currency adoption by providing easier ways to buy bitcoin. We are excited to continue to roll out more fiat to crypto gateways around the world to support the growth of our industry. We firmly believe that more adoption will lead to more innovation and more economic opportunities.”
So now that we know what Binance Lite is and what it is trying to do, it's time to take a closer look.
The buying process has three steps:
- Create an order. This is what the order creation screen looks like:
- Deposit cash (at one of the 1300+ participating newsagents across Australia).
- Receive (minutes later) the bitcoin that you have ordered.
And here are the nitty-gritty details:
- To place an order on the Binance Lite website, you do not need to be an Australian citizen. But you do need to be resident in Australia with "a valid Australian mobile number" in order to be able to "to perform a one-off Know Your Customer (KYC) document verification" the first time that you try to place an order, and obviously "you must be physically in Australia to make the cash deposit in person at one of the newsagent stores in Australia."
- Binance Lite is not a cryptocurrency exchange. It is an online brokerage service that only lets you purchase Bitcoin. It will not hold any bitcoin that you purchase. Instead, the BTC you purchase is delivered to your "nominated wallet address" as soon as you have finished paying for it (the "payment window" is 90 minutes; if you are late, your order will automatically expire). Once you have received your bitcoin, you can, of course, sell it however you like (but note that Binance Lite does not provide a platform for holding/selling/trading crypto).
- The following Bitcoin wallet address formats are supported: "Legacy addresses, which start with the number '1'; Segregated Witness (SegWit) addresses, which start with the number '3'; and Bech32 addresses, which start with 'bc1'."
- Binance Lite is "not part of the Binance exchange;" it is "independently operated by InvestbyBit Pty Ltd," which is "an AUSTRAC registered digital currency exchange service provider" that works "in close partnership with Binance." (Binance's press release says that InvestbyBit is "an independently operated subsidiary of the Binance.com cryptocurrency exchange.")
- There is a "flat 5% commission" plus Australian sales tax (GST) on each purchase of Bitcoin from Binance Lite.
- The minimum and maximum purchase amounts per transaction are is AUD 50 worth of bitcoin and AUD 2,500 worth of bitcoin respectively. During the beta phase, the maxium purchase amount is AUD 1,000 wirth of bitcoin. Finally, note that "only multiples of $10 will be accepted."
- The spot Bitcoin price (in AUD) displayed on the Binance Lite website is "based on an average of the various rates provided by the top Australian exchanges."