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Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/100239928@N08/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/100239928@N08/

Are bill-payment systems the first mainstream application of bitcoin? In the last few weeks, several new international services have launched allowing customers to pay for everything from utility bills to taxes using cryptocurrencies. Over at CoinDesk, reporter Jon Southurst takes a look at these new payment services.

Southurst notes the launch earlier this year of Canadian bill-payment service Bylls as the start of the apparent boom. The company supported payments to more than 6,000 organizations, including to the Canadian government. The company, which charges a fee between $3 and $6 for most payments, appears to have inspired many other similar projects across the globe.

Following on the heels of Bylls is Australia’s recently debuted Living Room of Satoshi (LRoS), a bitcoin-payment system built to work on the country’s BPAY network. LRoS charges no fees for its service, which is compatible with almost every major business, organization, credit card company and government office. LRoS claims that its system will “always be a free service,” and viewing the payment tool as a method for spurring bitcoin adoption.

Other profiled services include Singapore’s Quantified (charging a 2.9% fee), Argentina’s enBitcoins (currently free), Indonesia’s TuKarCash (bitcoin-accepting payment platform), and Thailand’s Bahtcoin exchange (direct utility and gift card payments from the exchange, 20 bhat fee).

At the moment, there are no comparable bitcoin-payment services in the U.S., although such projects are very likely in the works.

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