Australian SMEs Catching Crypto Wave While An ETF In Works
An increasing number of Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), even accounting firms, are investing in cryptoassets, following examples of Tesla and MicroStrategy, according to local crypto exchange Swyftx.
Over the past year, Swyft’x customer base has grown from around 15,000 users to some 320,000 today, with some of those newly acquired customers being individuals and persons representing trusts and self-managed superannuation funds, but many others hailing from SMEs, Tommy Honan, Head of strategic partnerships at the Australian exchange, told local news site Stockhead. Among the individuals, around 5%-6% are high-net-worth accounts with more than AUD 250,000 (USD 187,000) in assets.
“We’ve got accounting firms. We’ve got building and construction companies. We’ve got property development companies. We’re seeing a pretty large uptick in these types of accounts,” Honan was quoted as saying. He did not provide any specific numbers, only saying that high-net-worth individuals are not buying cryptoassets outside the top 100 list.
Honan confirmed to Cryptonews.com that the company has "seen a very significant increase" over the last year in the number of smaller Australian companies (with around 50 employees or less) putting crypto on their balance sheets.
"In the first four months of the year, Swyftx onboarded a 300% increase in entity accounts compared to the last four months of 2020. I’ve not seen anything like it before in the market,” he said, adding that they "are also supporting an increasing number of larger Australian businesses who want secure access to the largest possible amount of crypto liquidity."
To attract more corporate clients, Swyftx has set up a specialist business support team to provide such clients with access to their own dedicated account manager ready to provide end-to-end assistance and ongoing support for large volume trades and complex accounts, Honan said. The company also plans to introduce an over-the-counter trading desk over the next few months.
Meanwhile, Australians might get even more alternatives to invest in cryptoassets in the near future.
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is reviewing a number of applications for a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could be launched as soon as this year, Business Insider Australia reported in May, citing "several industry sources."
"You can see how mainstream this has become at an institutional level in developed markets, like the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK. You can’t ignore that. We can’t ignore it, and we’re not," ASX executive general manager Max Cunningham was quoted as saying.
An ETF would enable everyday investors to own cryptoassets like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) as part of their everyday share portfolio, while Australia’s superannuation funds could also invest in this asset class.
Superannuation assets totaled AUD 3.1trn (USD 2.31trn) at the end of March this year, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.
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(Updated at 07:39 UTC with additional comments from Swyftx.)