Australians will now be able to pay for fuel through Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies at stations and convenience stores under the leading On The Run (OTR) brand for the service powered by Crypto.com.
Crypto.com is offering the Pay Merchant service as a payment settlement platform, while the Sydney-based payment system, Datamesh, provides a point of sale terminal.
Increasing demand for crypto payments
According to Crypto.com’s General Manager, Asia & Pacific, Karl Mohan, the crypto payment option was necessitated by the growing demand for cryptocurrencies, with merchants increasingly opting to utilize digital assets.
“Our latest research shows that 55% of merchants and consumers want to transact in crypto, and this innovation within OTR stores is bringing these ambitions to life and ensuring that Australia is at the forefront of crypto payments evolution,” Mohan said.
Under the plan, Crypto.com will charge zero fees on the transactions, but there will be a cost on the merchant’s end, which will set their own rates.
The crypto regulation debate
Amid the increase in crypto popularity, the country’s regulator has indicated that digital assets have risen to the mainstream.
As reported by Finbold, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman Joe Longo noted that the rise of assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) means there is a need for regulating the sector.
Notably, an ASIC report released at the start of August 2022 surveyed over 1,000 retail investors in Australia, and 44% of respondents indicated they owned cryptocurrencies.
At the same time, despite merchants and consumers showing a preference for Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions, there is still an enormous demand for a stablecoin backed by the Australian dollar. Already, ASIC is working on unveiling a regulatory framework for the sector.