The most commonly available bus app in Canberra, MyBus 2.0 has refused to accept the Bitcoins for payment following poor digital currency traction.
In January, the bitcoin payment option was removed from MyBus 2.0 app. This service provides a route planner and a timetable to connect the Australian bus network with the capital cities. Director of QPay, Zakaria Bouguettaya, the company responsible for the development of the application said that the reason to drop Bitcoin payments was its inability to catch up with crowd. In 9 months, the Bitcoin payment option only processed 23 payments. It was also noted that within this period, the non-bitcoin transactions shot up to 3226.
The company reported that they decided to let go of the payment method because the transport network was unable to handle the digital top ups that could take up to 5 days to clear. They also said that the main purpose behind allowing bitcoins to be used as a payment method was to bring mainstream use of the currency. However, looking back, when the transaction takes up to 5 days to reflect, it seemed like a bad choice especially with regards to what it represents.
Impractical System, Illegal Solutions
According to Bougouettaya, the system was fairly unreasonable and when the issues surfaced the company started to look for ways to hack the MyWay card. Hacking it would have enabled the customers to save their Bitcoin wallet address or the balance on it. However, the local authorities and the ACT government responsible for running the top up scheme suggested that this course of action will not conform to the rules and will be considered illegal. They said that the third party contract is in ownership of the cards and no changes can be made unless they approve them. When the third party was consulted for this purpose, they refused to heed the application development company.
What Bitcoins Mean in Australia
Although Bitcoin has been removed from the purview of regulation of digital currencies by Reserve Bank of Australia, it is not entirely a bad news for the Bitcoin users in the country. Australian Exchange of Bitcoin, Coin Loft, announced in February that digital currencies will be officially exempted from being charged Goods & Service Tax (GST) on the sale of local Bitcoin.
An online Australian travel agency, Webjet, became the first company the very next day to accept Bitcoin as payments soon after they formed an alliance with Bitcoin start-up, BitPOS. This service will enable the customers to conclude their digital currency transaction through its exclusive websites.