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Crypto or CBDC? Australia puts an end to cash

Mon 07 Aug 2023 ▪ 4 min of reading ▪ by Mikaia A.
Getting informed Payment

Australia’s leaders have begun to reduce the number of banknotes in circulation in the country. This brings to an end more than 60 years of reign by greenbacks and pennies, which will gradually have to give way to digital money. What substitute for cash: bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies or CBDC? Let’s find out!

The Australian flag, bitcoin and Australian dollar logos and the CBDC logo. Source : Pixabay

Australia: withdrawals capped at $500

Australia is not against cryptocurrencies, but is also interested in central bank digital currencies. Whatever the case, the land of kangaroos no longer sees any value in cash. The divorce seems imminent.

Towards the end of cash in Australia?

In an article published on July 24, 9 News relayed data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) showing the amount of bills in circulation: over a billion dollars.

Below are some related figures:

  • 101.3 billion dollars in cash circulating in the country right now (very low compared to 2019 statistics);
  • decrease in the number of $5, $20 and $50 banknotes compared with statistics from four years ago.

Only $100 bills increased, but only slightly.

“The use of cash should continue to decline in the coming years, as should the use of checks, which should disappear completely in the country by 2030,” reads the article.

Bitcoin or CBDC, what’s the verdict?

The stakes involved in the Australian government’s phasing out of cash are manifold. On the one hand, there is a massive presence of elderly people in the country. The latter will find it difficult to do without cash, and to appropriate emerging technologies such as bitcoin.

On the other hand, Australia has a young population interested in cryptocurrencies. A recent ASX survey indicated that 31% of them invest significantly in these digital assets.

Aware of this fact, the current government is not choosing the ban. Rather stricter regulation than losing votes during elections?

Incidentally, Australia is one of the Top 5 countries most equipped with Bitcoin ATMs. It dethrones India and Japan combined.

In March, Decrypt revealed that Australia is developing a CBDC pilot project. At that time, the Australian Central Bank contracted a few companies (ANZ, Mastercard, etc.) to explore 14 eAUD use cases.

“The pilot project and the broader research study to be conducted in parallel will serve two purposes: they will contribute to practical learning by the industry, and they will enable decision-makers to better understand how a CBDC could potentially benefit the Australian financial system and economy,” said Brad Jones, Deputy Governor of the BRA.

No cash, bitcoin soars to new heights

With this tweet from bitcoin trader @HakSpli, it’s safe to say that cash will disappear sooner or later. Bitcoin as an alternative to other common currencies, and why not as a store of value, is already being given a place in tomorrow’s society.

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Mikaia A. avatar
Mikaia A.

La révolution blockchain et crypto est en marche ! Et le jour où les impacts se feront ressentir sur l’économie la plus vulnérable de ce Monde, contre toute espérance, je dirai que j’y étais pour quelque chose


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.