‘Penny hasn’t dropped’ for Australia’s next crypto unicorns — Coinbase APAC MD

Australia has the potential to produce more cryptocurrency companies valued at over a billion dollars, also known as unicorns, in the near future. However, this may not occur until there is greater regulatory certainty regarding cryptocurrencies, as expressed by Coinbase’s APAC managing director, John O’Loghlen.

“In Canberra and on the busy streets, I believe policymakers and big institutions have yet to fully comprehend the vast pool of exceptional talent that exists in Australia,” O’Loghlen explained to CryptoMoon.

“It’s really important that we get this clarity in legislation around digital assets so that the sector can be properly funded and give the VC community and other investors certainty around it so that we can keep building the next Illuvium or Immutable.”

Although O’Logheln conceded some regulatory progress – such as the Treasury’s October 2023 consultation paper and an informal regulatory discussion with policymakers at the Blockchain APAC Summit in March – he maintains that regulation lags significantly behind the surging interest from retail and institutional investors in cryptocurrencies.

Based on data from a 2024 investor survey conducted by Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve, it’s estimated that about 7.15 million Australians (equaling 27.5% of the population) currently hold cryptocurrencies. The study further revealed that nearly one-third of these Australian crypto investors contribute approximately $500 each month towards their digital assets investments.

‘Penny hasn’t dropped’ for Australia’s next crypto unicorns — Coinbase APAC MD

O’Loghlen highlighted the increasing need for crypto technologies like stablecoins and digital remittances in the Australian fintech sector, which are rich with opportunities for the next billion-dollar crypto business to thrive.

He mentioned some companies that have a great potential to become the next successful multibillion-dollar businesses in Australia, similar to Canva, Xero, Atlassian, and Afterpay.

O’Loghlen notices a marked rise in the desire for cryptocurrency offerings among regular consumers, with two particular industries showing strong interest.

Interests in cryptocurrency investments for self-managed retirement funds have seen a significant surge, according to O’Loghlen, though they represent only a modest portion of their overall assets.

“Even if it’s [0.5%] or 1% allocation, when that audience invests, the size of that investment is a considerable multiple of the [younger] cohorts, because their assets under management are significantly sized.”

An intriguing group of new investors entering the market, as referred to by O’Loghlen, are the “HENRYs.” This term is an internal shorthand meaning “High Earners Not Yet Rich.”

He mentioned that these individuals are employed full-time and possess modest debts without heavy mortgages. They boast strong income capabilities and are dedicating considerable effort to learning about cryptocurrencies.

Moving forward, O’Loghlen announced that Coinbase plans to extend its “Stand with Crypto” initiative to Australia by the end of this year.

Coinbase intends to bring in key executives for meetings with regulators and policymakers, aiming to clarify the advantages of cryptocurrencies within the nation.

‘Penny hasn’t dropped’ for Australia’s next crypto unicorns — Coinbase APAC MD

“Government officials and policymakers in Canberra need to understand the practical applications of cryptocurrency for entrepreneurs and startups, as they provide significant cost savings and benefits,” he explained.

O’Loghlen’s remarks are similar to what Johnathan Miller, the managing director of Kraken Australia, shared with CryptoMoon. According to Miller, the present market situation signifies a significant turning point or shift for cryptocurrencies in Australia.

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2024-04-22 02:24