Swyftx exchange will begin offering interest-bearing yields on a wide range of cryptocurrency assets — the first Australian-operated crypto exchange to do so.
Swyftx’s new product, called Earn, will offer Australian and New Zealand residents the ability to earn interest on 21 different digital assets, including large-cap cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA) and stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).
Swyftx CEO Ryan Parsons said that the exchange’s Earn feature was one of the most competitive in the crypto industry, as the Brisbane-based company will allow customers to withdraw their assets from Earn at any time with no exit fees, lock-ups or minimum notice period.
Parsons added that this fee-free flexibility is the main differentiator between its Earn product and similar ones offered by larger multinational exchanges such as Binance and Crypto.com:
“Very few global exchanges are offering crypto users the level of interest rates that we are without also having lock-in periods.”
Swyftx stated that the amount of yield that can be offered to lenders ultimately depends on the volatility of the underlying asset. Large-cap stablecoins such as USDC and USDT are set to bear interest rates of up to 6.7%, while mainstay crypto assets like BTC and ETH will offer up to 5.1%. Slightly more risk-on assets such as Polkadot (DOT) will offer returns of up to 12.7%, while decentralized finance (DeFi) token Kava (KAVA) is set to offer up to 25.8%.
Earn will also offer yields on TrueAUD (TAUD), an Australian-dollar pegged stablecoin. Users can expect to earn up to 5.3% annual percentage yield (APY) on TAUD deposits.
Swyftx clarified that the rates offered by Earn will be variable, with Swyftx providing a seven-day notice period for any changes.
Parsons said that he expects Earn to appeal to a large array of Australian investors. Currently, around 28.8% of all adults in Australians own or have owned cryptocurrency, according to a 2021 survey from the Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index.
“Our expectation is that you’ll start to see many more Aussies using crypto wealth services as they become more familiar with digital assets,” added Parsons.
“We’re looking at significant pockets of traditional finance and thinking ‘you know what, we can out-compete you.’”
While Swyftx may be the first Australian crypto exchange to offer yields on cryptocurrency deposits, other fintech startups have begun offering similar yield-bearing products to Australian consumers as well. On March 17, Australian fintech startup Block Earner began offering mainstream direct access to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Block Earner co-founder Jordan Momtazi said that Australia’s current economic climate makes products that offer yields on savings quite attractive, especially as it is practically impossible to achieve similar returns using methods offered by traditional financial institutions.
Similarly, Australian fintech company Finder released a flagship Earn product on March 7 this year, that offers their users a 4.01% p.a. yield on TAUD stablecoin deposits. Earlier, this week the company announced that it would offer a bonus 6.01% p.a. rate until July 1 for any user that deposits more than $10,000 in TAUD into Earn on the Finder mobile app.
The regulatory situation in Australia concerning yield-bearing crypto deposits is far more relaxed than in the United States. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is continuing its hard-line stance against crypto lending and related interest-bearing digital assets.
In late January of this year, the SEC launched a probe into high-yield digital asset lending products offered by Gemini, Celsius and Voyager Digital. Then, on Feb. 14, the SEC slapped crypto-lending company BlockFi with a $100 million fine for failing to register high-yield interest accounts that the agency deemed to be securities.
Update: This story has been updated to mention Finder's Earn