Australian lawmakers and TradFi firms haven’t adopted crypto: Coinbase APAC MD

According to Coinbase’s APAC managing director, John O’Loghlen, Australia is ready for its next wave of cryptocurrency “unicorns”—startups valued at $1 billion or more—but not until there is greater regulatory certainty surrounding the industry.

John O’Loghlen told Cointelegraph, in reference to influential lawmakers and prominent business figures, that he does not believe that a penny has fallen in Canberra or on the high street regarding the amount of exceptional human capital that Australia possesses.

He added that it is imperative that the regulations concerning digital assets be elucidated so that the sector can secure the required financial support and reassure venture capitalists and other investors, thereby enabling organizations to proceed with the development of the subsequent Immutable or Illuvium.

Even though O’Logheln acknowledged that some regulatory developments had occurred—such as the Treasury’s October 2023 consultation paper and an unofficial regulatory meeting with legislators at the Blockchain APAC Summit in March—he claims that these developments are still trailing a significant increase in institutional and retail demand for cryptocurrencies.

According to a 2024 investor survey conducted by Independent Reserve, an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, approximately 27.5% of the population, or 7.15 million Australians, presently owned cryptocurrencies. A monthly investment of nearly $500 is reported to be made in digital assets by 35% of cryptocurrency investors in Australia.

The Australian fintech industry’s expanding need for stablecoins, digital remittances, and a host of other capital-efficient uses for cryptocurrencies, according to O’Loghlen, is an ideal environment for the emergence of the next multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency.

O’Loghlen noted that several of these firms possess the capacity to emerge as the next Canva, Xero, Atlassian, or Afterpay, citing several Australian enterprises with valuations in the billions of dollars.

O’Loghlen observes a significant increase in demand for cryptocurrency products in the retail sector, with two primary industries capturing his attention.

The first stems from a rise in interest in self-managed retirement funds pulling out of cryptocurrency, which O’Loghlen claimed was significant even if it was a minor portion of their overall portfolio.

According to O’Loghlen, the magnitude of the investment made by that audience is a substantial multiple of that of the [younger] cohorts. This is due to the fact that their assets under management are also considerably sized, whether it be a 0.5% or 1% allocation.

O’Loghlen termed the next most intriguing group of investors entering the market “HENRYs,” an internal abbreviation for “High Earners Not Rich Yet.” As defined by O’Loghlen, HENRYs are working professionals who do not have a sizable mortgage or a great deal of debt; they have excellent earning potential and are truly investing time in educating themselves on cryptocurrencies.

Looking ahead, O’Loghlen disclosed that Coinbase intended to bring its Stand with Crypto campaign to Australia in the latter part of the current year.

To help regulators and lawmakers understand the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in the nation, Coinbase plans to fly in top leadership to host several seminars.

O’Loghlen’s statements resonated with guests at the CryptoCon 2024 conference, spurring discussions and thoughts on the role of politicians and traditional financial institutions in determining financial futures. Many people agreed with O’Loghlen, expressing displeasure with the apparent stagnation and lack of awareness among key stakeholders about the possibilities of crypto innovation.

After the conference, O’Loghlen called for more engagement, awareness, and collaboration in Australia’s crypto sector. Despite challenges, O’Loghlen’s vision and leadership have instilled urgency and drive among stakeholders, paving the path for Australia to become a worldwide crypto innovation hub.

Trevor Holman

Trevor Holman follows crypto industry since 2011. He joined CryptoNewsZ as a news writer and he provides technical analysis pieces and current market data. He is also an avid trader. In his free time, he loves to explore unexplored places.

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