As bitcoin increases in popularity and awareness climbs, cryptocurrency is becoming a household name.
In Australia, this often means Living Room of Satoshi (LRoS) is involved. This Australian company is bringing cryptocurrency to the most mundane administrative tasks, transforming the way people feel about paying bills.
Changing The Way Bills Are Paid
LRoS is a service that allows you to directly pay any bill in Australia with a host of cryptocurrencies. This includes things like phone bills, mortgage payments, credit cards, electricity bills, school fees, and parking fines. The process is smooth and easy and is, in fact, the company’s primary focus. They aim to make it as simple as possible to pay bills using cryptocurrency as it is to use fiat.
This bill-paying process on LRoS is straightforward:
- Pick up an energy bill
- Visit the LRoS website (no account necessary)
- Enter your payment details
- Send your chosen cryptocurrency to the address provided
- Voila! Admin chore done. It’s that simple.
The site collects as little personal information as possible about their customers (a bonus being that you don’t even have to register to use the service), whilst publishing all the anonymised data they can. They do this in the spirit of the bitcoin blockchain which operates in almost exactly the same way.
Get Rewarded For Paying Your Bills With Crypto
LRoS’s loyalty points program is designed to be as minimally intrusive as possible, unlike other rewards programs, which are thinly disguised data collection programs. You don’t need to join or hand over personal details. According to founder and CEO, Daniel Alexiuc, “it’s just a little bonus we give our customers for making the switch to using cryptocurrencies, which is what we are really trying to promote.”
As proof of LRoS’s commitment to promoting crypto, they’re mostly doing their loyalty program out-of-pocket, although they welcome third-party involvement.
Some of the most popular items to claim as rewards are cryptocurrency hardware wallets, a must for anyone with anything more than a small amount of crypto. The least popular, says Alexiuc, is their Lamborghini Aventador Coupe, which a lucky user can claim for 160 million reward points. No one’s claimed one yet.
Satoshi in the House
Launched in May 2014, LRoS currently boasts 2,000 registered users and many more casual users who have not created an account. So far, $16 million has been processed on-site, with $10 million of that in the last 6 months. User adoption increases each month, and they have seen a consistent 20-40% growth rate over the past 2 years.
But Alexiuc stresses that they are still in the very early stages of the development of the ecosystem and can’t sit back just yet. He says that he’s never doubted the technology would work, but it takes time for people to become accustomed to the revolutionary idea of a currency that is not issued by a government.
LRoS currently accepts bitcoin and ten other widely used coins. It’s mostly driven by customer demand – if their customers would find it useful, they’re happy to try it out. Their statistics show that around 72 percent of bills are paid with bitcoin, 11 percent with ethereum, 6 percent with litecoin and dash, and 2 percent with Monero.
With a permanent staff of four, the company relies on strong partnerships with many other technical, legal, design and commercial advisers and consultants.
Their most prominent partnership is with BPay, Australia’s largest online payment system. The LRoS ecosystem works through BPay’s third-party services provider API.
Living Room With…Who?
Alexiuc is a programmer and has always been interested in trying out new technologies. After reading Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper, he was blown away. Nakamoto’s paper elegantly solved a problem that people had been working on for decades. Alexiuc could see that this was going to be one of the biggest innovations since the Internet.
He also found the Satoshi Nakamoto story a fascinating one. How a pseudonymous individual could invent something so brilliant, release it to the world for free, and then completely disappear in the age of the internet, was simply bewildering.
Alexiuc believes that the biggest change bitcoin has brought is that it provides a way to “opt out” of the system. Bitcoin is money that is controlled by nobody, requires permission from nobody to use, and can be sent directly between people with no bank in the middle. It’s the first true alternative to the existing banking systems. Thanks to this inspiration, LRoS was born.