We take a closer look at the Australian platform that lets you pay bills with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
If you’re looking for ways you can utilise cryptocurrency in everyday life, you might want to consider using a service like Living Room of Satoshi (LRoS). This Australian platform lets you pay everyday Australian bills, including everything from electricity to your credit card bill, using a range of popular digital currencies.
To help you decide whether you should use Living Room of Satoshi to pay your bills, we’ve compiled this review of the platform’s features, fees and supported currencies.
How does Living Room of Satoshi work?
Launched in 2014, Living Room of Satoshi is an Australian company that lets you pay bills with cryptocurrency. Based in Brisbane, Living Room of Satoshi allows users to pay any Australian bill using the following digital coins and tokens:
- Bitcoin (including Lightning Network transactions)
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
Quick guide: How to use Living Room of Satoshi
- Choose the cryptocurrency you want to use to pay your bill.
- Select whether you’re paying a BPAY bill or paying to a credit card or bank account.
- Enter your payment details, including the amount you’re sending and either the BPAY Biller Code and reference number or the account number and BSB of the bank account to which you’re transferring funds.
- Enter your email address and verify your details.
- Submit your payment.
- Living Room of Satoshi converts your crypto into Australian dollars (AUD) and pays your bill.
What can you use it for?
You can use Living Room of Satoshi to pay any Australian bill that lists either of the following payment options:
- Transfer to an Australian bank account
This means you can use the service to pay for a wide range of goods and services, including the following:
- Electricity bills
- Gas bills
- Credit card bills
- Phone bills
- Internet bills
- Car rego
- Insurance premiums
- Council rates
Living Room of Satoshi even shares data about the type of bills users pay on its platform and the top 100 billers. This information is well worth a look if you want more details about exactly what people use this payment gateway for. Living Room of Satoshi also runs a rewards program to encourage return customers. For every dollar you spend on bills and payments, you receive one point. You can then redeem these points for cash or products across the following categories: For example, to get $100 cash deposited into your bank account, you’d need to earn 20,000 points.
Living Room of Satoshi also runs a rewards program to encourage return customers. For every dollar you spend on bills and payments, you receive one point. You can then redeem these points for cash or products across the following categories:
For example, to get $100 cash deposited into your bank account, you’d need to earn 20,000 points.
Rates and fees
Living Room of Satoshi does not charge any fees for using its service. However, the exchange rate you’re quoted effectively includes the fees since Living Room of Satoshi makes money on the currency spread, which is the difference between the price at which LRoS buys and sells currency. The platform’s exchange rates are quoted at the point of payment.
To find out exactly how much paying bills via the platform will cost you, compare the exchange rate you’re quoted when entering payment details with the current market rate for the crypto you’re using, such as BTC/AUD.
Working out how much Living Room of Satoshi costs
Estimating fees included in the spread
When you pay a bill via Living Room of Satoshi, you're only shown one final sum that includes all fees. However, it is possible to roughly estimate the platform's fees by comparing this sum to the current market price of whatever crypto you’re using to pay your bill.
For example, at the time of writing (6 August 2018), the price of bitcoin is AUD$9,607. But if the user enters that they wish to send AUD$9,607 through Living Room of Satoshi, the platform calculates that they will need to pay 1.062989 BTC. As such, the additional cost of using LRoS is approximately 6.3%.
Other than comparing current rates to the final sum shown at the point of payment, you can also compare the current market price of the crypto you want to use with the prices that LRoS feeds into its calculator.
It's important to understand that while this could help you determine the cost of using LRoS, the calculations are approximate.
Transfer times and limits
Due to regulatory restrictions, the maximum amount you can send using a BPAY payment or bank account transfer (to an account that isn’t your own) via Living Room of Satoshi is $1,000 per transaction. If your bill exceeds this $1,000 limit, you can pay it by creating two or more bills with the same payment details. Living Room of Satoshi provides a “copy to new bill” button to help make this process easier.
If you’re using Living Room of Satoshi to send a bank transfer to your own bank account, the maximum you can send is limited to $50,000 per transaction.
In terms of transaction times, the amount of time it takes for your digital coins to be sent to Living Room of Satoshi varies depending on the cryptocurrency used. If your funds are received before 3pm (for bank transfers) or 5pm (for BPAY transactions) on a bank business day, the biller will acknowledge the payment as having been made that day.
Where can you use this platform?
Living Room of Satoshi allows Australian users to pay Australian bills.
Security and privacy
In line with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017, it’s a legal requirement for digital currency exchanges to verify the identity of their customers. Before using Living Room of Satoshi, you’ll need to complete a quick ID verification with third-party ID service Vix Verify.
This process usually takes a couple of minutes, and you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Your residential address
- Your date of birth
- Details from at least two forms of ID, for example your driver’s licence and passport
Living Room of Satoshi claims to have helped its customers pay more than 100,000 bills since 2014. The website has been around for a relatively long time (in crypto terms) and a quick search of online forums reveals that it has a reputation as a straightforward and reliable platform.
Pros and cons
- Quick and easy to use
- Pay a huge variety of bills
- Provides an everyday, real-world use for your cryptocurrency
- Supports bitcoin and several other popular altcoins
- Rewards program
- The spread will significantly increase the cost of paying your bill
- You’ll need to check the exchange rate you’re quoted to find out exactly how much paying bills via Living Room of Satoshi will cost you
- $1,000 transaction limit – large bills need to be split into multiple smaller payments
How to get started with Living Room of Satoshi
If you’ve compared Living Room of Satoshi with other cryptocurrency bill payment services and decided it’s right for you, visit its website to get started. You’ll need to enter your bill details, verify your email address and then complete the ID verification process before you can submit a payment.