Publicly-listed company SelfWealth (ASX: SWF) has reportedly become the first Australian online share trading platform to offer cryptocurrency investing after announcing a deal with the local crypto exchange BTC Markets.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler stated that investors will be able to trade five primary crypto assets from Q2 2022, pending approval from Australian financial regulator AUSTRAC.
Both SelfWealth and BTC Markets were unable to provide a comment on which crypto assets would be available for purchase until regulators give the green light, but it is reasonably likely that market leaders such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) will be among them.
Selfwealth, Australia’s fourth-largest online brokerage platform, announced its journey into crypto in July last year with the $8-billion-dollar broker releasing a report outlining that 30% of its users were already investing in cryptocurrency, while another 38% were looking to invest in the future.
When asked if the current fears of a “crypto winter” would dampen the enthusiasm of retail crypto buyers on the platform, Bowler responded confidently that “anyone who’s been around for the long-haul knows that crypto is volatile,” and that looking at the crypto markets from the lens of a few months is impractical
Further tempering any potential fears, Bowler drew on her own experience when she added that:
“I’ve been through a crypto winter before and I don’t think that’s what we’re in now… what we’re seeing now is more of a reasonable response to market conditions than a fully fledged crypto-winter.”
Rather than being concerned with the expected volatility of crypto markets, Bowler said that what she found most impressive from a trading standpoint was "the wall of interest on the buy side… no one in the broader market really wants to sell.”
Bowler said that SelfWealth and BTC Market’s partnership demonstrated even further legitimacy to the broad-scale adoption of cryptocurrency.
While crypto is still considered a “risky” asset by many major firms, SelfWealth, with a customer base that consists of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and more traditional investors, is looking to distinguish itself from the crowd by quelling that misconception.
Bowler did not shy away from emphasizing the scale of the opportunity that SelfWealth and BTC Markets were taking advantage of. She added: “I think that [crypto] will be a pillar of Australia’s financial services industry in the next to three to five years. Financial services make up 8% of Australia’s total economic output and it’s reasonable to assume that crypto will support 10%–15% of that.”