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Australians rushing to invest in cryptocurrency may find themselves paying larger than expected surcharges as new data estimates more than $50 million has been spent on fees alone.

Financial comparison site Finder estimates that based o the average Australian crypto investment of $2078, a “conservative” transaction fee of 0.6 per cent would equal a collective $50.9 million in fees.

As many as one in four Australians own some form of cryptocurrency, the vast majority of whom have entered the space in the last two years.

Cryptocurrency fees are one of the major variables investors look at when choosing a platform or exchange. (Unsplash)

Head of consumer research at Finder Graham Cooke said despite the headlines figures most people who buy cryptocurrency are aware of the fees and will shop around for the lowest rate.

“Bitcoin is seen by many as the new ‘digital gold’ and investors of all ages want a piece of the action,” Mr Cooke said.

“Crypto enthusiasts are typically very savvy and see fees as a waste of money.”

Bitcoin’s infamous volatility has not deterred thousands of Australians who have invested in the cryptocurrency. (Unsplash)

Theoretically, if you paid $60 in transaction fees for buying Bitcoin in January 2016 – when each coin was worth just $523 – if invested the fee alone would be worth $5857.

According to investment platform eToro, 30 per cent of Australians invested with them believe the primary reason they invest in cryptocurrency is because it is a speculative asset they believe can make strong returns in a short period of time.

Late last year Australia’s biggest bank the Commonwealth Bank announced it would soon allow customers to buy, sell and hold up to 10 different cryptocurrencies through the CommBank app.

Commonwealth Bank chairman Catherine Livingstone (left) and CEO Matt Comyn (right) during the Commonwealth Bank annual general meeting (AGM) in Sydney.
Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn said he was prepared to offer customers the chance to purchase cryptocurrency. (AAP)

The bank did not specify what fees it would charge per transaction, but the mass-market adoption of cryptocurrency proved to many that it is now a legitimate asset class.

“We think it is important to actively support and work constructively with regulators, make sure we are offering a very good proposition to our customers. Of course, investing in cryptocurrencies come with risks,” CBA CEO Matt Comyn said.

“We make it very clear to customers as part of that process that you should only be investing what you are prepared to lose.”

The Financial Review Young Rich List 2021

Australia’s top 10 richest under 40s

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Source: 9News

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