Victoria: The Home Of Digital Currency In Australia
The Blockchain Melbourne meetup group hosted an event to discuss the opportunities and challenges of operating a digital currency exchange in Australia. The event showed once again that Victoria really is the home of digital currency in Australia.
If you’ve been paying attention to the recent price rise in bitcoin you might think that running a digital currency exchange is all ‘rainbows and skittles’. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, it can be a complex proposition — having to navigate an uncertain regulatory landscape, working with financial institutions that closely scrutinize your risk profile and having to build a platform that can withstand highly motivated hackers isn’t easy.
These are just a few of the topics we explored at the February Blockchain Melbourne meetup.
To really deep dive on what it’s like to run a digital currency exchange we invited our friends from CoinJar, Coinloft, Cointree and Buy A Bitcoin to talk about what it’s like to run a digital currency exchange in 2017.
The panel session highlighted some of the ongoing issues the industry faces in Australia. The panel called out regulation as an ongoing concern. More specifically, most on the panel highlighted regulatory uncertainty as a major issues in building a digital currency startup in Australia. Having said, this most were still bullish on the industry and could definitely see further growth opportunities.
A slightly more esoteric issue that was discussed by the panel was the ongoing issues that exchanges face with the lack of scaling of the bitcoin blockchain. It was noted by one exchange that they paid $10,000 in mining fees in January.
For the uninitiated, mining fees are a tax that those transacting on the bitcoin network pay to have a transaction entered into the bitcoin blockchain. The bitcoin blockchain has suffered from a clogging issue due to the size of blocks (currently 1mb). To ensure a transaction is recorded on the bitcoin blockchain those transacting can choose to pay a higher mining fee and this is a what exchanges are doing to ensure their customer’s transactions are recorded promptly ‘on chain’. This is proving to be a topical issue for the industry as many call for the block size to increase to accomodate, essentially, more transactions.
Beyond being a highly informative panel session, the event highlighted the depth of digital currency startup talent in Victoria. With 4 major digital currency companies located in Victoria it again highlights that this is the home digital currency and blockchain tech in Australia.
Also, it’s worth highlighting the fantastic work of the Blockchain Centre in supporting the event and the continuing to champion the industry in Victoria.
Make sure you sign up to the Blockchain Melbourne meetup to keep up to date with the latest events and news in Blockchain tech here in Victoria.