The Australia Post announced that the 11.7 million addresses they service will now have the ability to buy bitcoin through its Digital iD service. This verification service would lower the barrier of entry for many and expedite the identity confirmation process.
Quoted in the Bitcoinist, the director of Digital Surge, Josh Lehman, stated, “Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes, instead of the days it takes other exchanges…For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s license or passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes.” Digital Surge is one of the first adopters of the Digital iD platform.
As with anything, there are tradeoffs. This certainly helps many to feel secure, knowing it’s legal, and it is also convenient as all the information needed is at the ready. One could certainly expect this to sustain an already present bitcoin surge in Australia.
This data, however, is centrally stored, making it prone to attack; though it was prone to attack before the use of the Digital id to buy bitcoin. Rather than properly secure this information through decentralized means, it is likely to remain vulnerable for tax purposes. As the Bitcoinist article notes, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced they will collect Capital Gains Tax on cryptocurrency gains. The Digital iD service would allow government officials to easily track the tax obligation of those who purchased bitcoin through their verification service. However, we all have our tax burdens unless we vote in representatives who would lessen them.