IvyPay: A new way of paying bills with crypto or cashing out in Australia
A new competitor has hit the field in Australia.
Australia has become something of a battleground for services that allow quick cashing out of crypto to bank accounts or to pay bills directly. Living Room of Satoshi was the first service to scratch that itch, seeing relatively wide use in Australia. It charges no fees and offers a rewards program, but has sometimes been criticised for its spreads.
Paid By Coins arrived on the scene later, also charging no fees and instead adding about a 3% spread.
Today IvyPay has become the third offering of this type to land in Australia, taking a slightly different tack. It says it only charges a nominal rate on the currency spread, with a flat fee of either 1% or 2%. The 2% spread is the standard, but by paying with the network's native IVY token, it drops to 1%.
Currency spreads can vary a lot based on a range of factors, so it's hard to say which one is the most cost-effective option, but it might be worth taking IvyPay for a ride to see if it's the new most-cost-effective choice in town, and if you can find savings by stashing some IVY to lower the fees.
Through its beta testing, IvyPay says about 30% of people have been taking advantage of the lower fees by using the Ivy coin, suggesting there might be some decent value for money there. It also suggests some solid real-world use for an otherwise quite obscure coin.
IvyKoin is ranked somewhere in the 500 range according to CoinMarketCap, with a cap in the $4 million range. At the same time, it's seeing fairly consistent volume for its market cap. Its 24-hour trade volume has tended to be somewhere in the $100,000 range, but today's IvyPay launch brought it up to about $280,000, almost entirely on HitBTC and Cryptopia.
It looks like people are actually using it for its intended purpose, which might be more than can be said for most cryptocurrencies.
The Ivy Project
The Ivy Project is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency payment network, which aims to make payments all-around better by leveraging key blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. It aims to allow for the embedding of AML/KYC information in transactions themselves to allow a kind of as-needed verification for transactions. It also uses smart contracts to enable trustless automation of certain features, such as a built-in trustless escrow service.
Ivy uses a dual blockchain system designed to integrate with existing payment networks. The IVY token itself is an ERC20 that lives on the public Ethereum blockchain as part of the public Ivy network. The token and the accompanying user data can be transferred onto the private blockchain component, which is envisioned as being the settlement part of the network.
One of the most immediate applications is to more seamlessly connect the worlds of fiat and cryptocurrency. The Ivy Project is still under construction, but the newly-active IvyPay element might be a solid example of what this can look like in action.
It might still not be as cost effective as just paying bills with fiat, but a survey commissioned by IvyPay found that about one in three crypto holders would pay their taxes with crypto given the chance. It's also said that even in this still-niche area, there are still some 2,500 bills per month being paid with crypto in Australia. And cashing out, of course, is still one of those ever-present cryptocurrency needs.
You can't live off cryptocurrency alone... yet.
Disclosure: IvyPay is a partnership between HiveEx and Ivy. HiveEx and finder.com.au are members of the Finder group of companies.
At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, XLM and BTC.