Local crypto exchange BTC Markets has confirmed that its sister company BTCM Payments has been issued with an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
BTC Markets has been appointed as an authorised representative as part of the licence, which is currently focused on non-cash payment products and general advice.
The firm noted that additional variations may be made to the licence over time which it said would allow it to further bridge the gap between crypto and traditional finance while offering new and innovative products to its customers.
According to CEO Caroline Bowler, BTC Markets is Australia’s first crypto exchange to successfully go through the full AFSL application process.
“Our preference has always been to own our own AFSL rather than buying an existing one from a licence holder. We’re now the masters of our own destiny – we have a clean slate and full control over the AFSL,” she said.
“It also readies our organisation for impending Australian regulation which we will welcome in due course. Our AFSL will sit alongside our ISO certification and work for SOC 2 compliance.”
The development follows nearly 18 months of engagement with ASIC during which BTC Markets said it had been in “robust and productive” discussions with the regulator in order to best position BTCM Payments to be granted with the AFSL.
BTC Markets said the licence marked its fourth strategic announcement of the past year alongside a partnership with Volt Bank from September last year, February’s crypto trading arrangement with SelfWealth and a partnership with Mastercard announced in March.
Ms Bowler said that the firm was committed to ensuring that it stayed at the forefront of the crypto industry in Australia.
“From BTC Markets’ point of view, it’s about understanding the needs of our Australian consumers seeking to access crypto safely and securely,” she said.
“From an industry perspective, we’re seeking to demonstrate how crypto can sit alongside traditional finance to seamlessly work together in a financially inclusive future.”
Treasury released a consultation paper in March on a proposed regulatory framework for crypto-asset secondary service providers following recommendations made by the senate select committee on Australia as a technology and financial centre last year.
In its submission, FinTech Australia said that any proposed changes should be targeted and measured while supporting innovation and protecting consumers.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.