Crypto exchange and debit card provider Crypto.com has completed the acquisition of an Australian financial services company in order to secure an Australian Financial Service License, or ASFL.
The acquired firm, named The Card Group Pty Ltd, has been described as specializing in "prepaid card, mobile, and wearable solutions" for enhancing cardholders' engagement. Crucially, the firm was already approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, paving the way for Crypto.com's ASFL.
With an ASFL under its belt, Crypto.com will be licensed to legally issue its proprietary card in Australia and to establish direct relationships with domestic consumers along with actors in the wider Australian financial services system.
Crypto.com — which operates an app, an exchange and a DeFi wallet, as well as a Visa card — has already made some first steps toward establishing an Australian user base; it recently enabled Australian dollar transfers in and out of its platform via NPP (PayID) or BPAY from user bank accounts.
All blockchain businesses whose activities encompass certain financial services are required to secure an ASFL to operate in Australia, which means they are obliged to comply with the country's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.
As a recent Cointelegraph analysis piece outlined, Australia is considered by crypto business operators to be "a relatively permissive jurisdiction" from a regulatory perspective. The measures the country has introduced so far draw on a long-term awareness of the nascent sector, dating back to as early as 2014 — well before the 2017 hype and bull run of the asset class. From the perspective of blockchain technology more broadly, however, the country's national blockchain roadmap has drawn some criticism for its ostensibly narrow vision.