There are three things you cannot avoid - death, taxes and the volatility of cryptocurrency prices. By now, it has become obvious that cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and are a high-risk investment. Over the past few weeks, banks and governments around the globe appear to have taken a slightly pessimistic and stricter stance around cryptocurrencies.However, Australia still appears to be quite optimistic and bullish.
Some of Australia’s biggest banks have confirmed that they do not intend to stop their customers from buying Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. This statement from the Australian banks comes at a time when a number of American banks including JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and the Bank of America announced they will no longer support Credit Cards. The UK based Lloyd’s bank too, banned the purchase of cryptocurrencies using Credit Cards. They stated:
“Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA [the brands under its corporate umbrella], we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies,” a Lloyds spokesperson said. However, the Australian banks appear quite relaxed compared to the Western banks.
Banks of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) have stated that they do not support this ban on cryptocurrency purchases. As per a report from ABC, ANZ “does not prohibit customers buying digital or cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as a form of payment”. A spokesperson for Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank by market capitalization, added: “We currently have no restrictions on credit card use to purchase cryptocurrency.”
India, South Korea, China, Russia and a number of other major countries are imposing stricter regulations with every passing day. The recent drop in the prices was largely accounted due to this ‘Asian FUD” where a number of Asian nations introduced stricter laws or brought in regulations towards cryptocurrencies. Misleading statements from South Korean officials, Russian elections coming up and the Indian budget caused a lot of panic in the markets.
To add to this, China has been getting stricter with every passing day. While China banned all domestic cryptocurrency exchanges last year, the country has now foreign exchanges as well. The great firewall of China now blocks these cryptocurrency exchanges as well.
While a number of Australian banks have shown support for cryptocurrencies, the National Australian Bank (NAB) isn’t as confident. “ASIC advises that, as most of the virtual currency exchange platforms are generally not regulated, customers may not be protected or have any legal recourse if the platform fails or is hacked,” NAB’s spokesperson said. “We take the protection of our customers’ information and accounts extremely seriously.”
Australia has been quite open about adopting cryptocurrencies. One of the biggest news stories which recently came from the land down under is that the Brisbane Airport will soon support cryptocurrencies fully. This means that not only is the airport going to accept cryptocurrencies for flight bookings, but also as a method of payment for the cafes, restaurants and shops in the airport premises.