You may have seen the recent news that Stanley & Co will now be accepting Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, as a method of payment for our legal services. But what exactly is Bitcoin? How can it be useful to you? Hopefully this article can help shed some light on the advent of Bitcoin and its relationship with the legal profession.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is one form of ‘cryptocurrency’, a type of currency that is decentralised from any central bank or administrator. Cryptocurrencies are digital currency and work with encryptions to provide security and scarcity. They can be purchased, through a public distributed ledger, and then exchanged for products, services and even other currencies. Their value, like other currencies, can vary depending on use and demand.
Cryptocurrency in Australia
As of July 2017, the Australian Government confirmed in their budget summary, that Bitcoin will be treated “just like money”, preventing double taxation. The Australian Tax Office have since released general guides on how and when Bitcoin can be used, and taxed. The law is certainly ‘playing catch-up’ to the crypto-market, but there are regulations and proposed laws being discussed at every term. As the regulation grows, Bitcoin will become more popular and normalised for every day transactions. As Bitcoins origins came from the ‘dark-web’ and its original users enjoyed its lack of regulation or centralisation, this change may not please everybody. However, even with regulation, it still remains detached from any singular Government body or Authority. If you are unsure of how and when to use Bitcoin, Stanley & Co can advise you on the potential pitfalls of using cryptocurrency.
Why should you use Bitcoin?
Much of Bitcoin’s popularity can be attributed to its steady rise in value. Since its introduction in 2011, people’s investments have risen exponentially. It has been, in this sense, akin to an incredibly stable stock investment, with more practical use in purchasing services. For the consumer, buying Bitcoin at a low price and paying for their goods and services yields a net profit as they have potentially paid less than what they would have with Australian Dollars. For businesses, the opposite is true, and once they have had enough customers use Bitcoin as payment, they will have hopefully built a steady Bitcoin portfolio.
If you are looking for advice regarding cryptocurrencies, or interested in a firm willing to accept yours as payment for services, contact Stanley & Co Lawyers today.