BTC Markets Gets Financial Services License in Australian First

The license will help BTC Markets shelter the coming regulatory storm for crypto in Australia, CEO Caroline Bowler said


Sydney, Australia. Credit: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • BTC Markets’ sister company, BTCM Payments, has been awarded a financial services license from the securities regulator
  • It marks the first time such a license has been handed to a crypto company in Australia

Major Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets said Monday it has become the first of its kind in the country to receive a financial services license via its sister company.

The Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has been awarded to BTCM Payments, according to a statement. The license paves the way for BTC Markets to provide non-cash payment products and general financial advice.

As part of the conditions surrounding licensure, BTC Markets has been appointed as an authorized representative. For BTCM Payments, which was registered on August 5, 2020, it marks an almost two-year journey to be granted an AFSL via ASIC, where it was said to be “engaging in robust and productive discussions.”

BTC Markets said the move will allow it to more closely bridge the crypto and traditional finance gap while offering new products to its customers. In Australia, those businesses offering financial services, advice and products must register for a license via ASIC.

Crypto remains excluded from the list of those companies required to apply for a license due to lagging regulations around digital assets within the country, though that is expected to change sometime next year.

“Our preference has always been to own our own AFSL rather than buying an existing one from a license holder,” BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said. “We’re now the masters of our own destiny — we have a clean slate and full control over the AFSL.”

Bowler also said the license would prepare the exchange business for impending regulation and would bolster BTC Markets’ existing ISO certification while complementing its progress in obtaining a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations (SOC 2).

It’s the latest win for the seasoned crypto marketplace which began operating nearly a decade ago. Earlier this year, the exchange inked a deal with stockbroker SelfWealth, establishing it as the first traditional brokerage firm in the country to offer crypto to its clients.

“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,” Bowler said.

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