FTX Launches Crypto Exchange Services in Australia

The exchange is hoping to get ahead of the regulatory curve by appeasing policymakers and working “proactively” with regulators


Sam Bankman-Fried; Blockworks Exclusive Art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • FTX Australia will offer crypto derivatives as well as typical spot market offerings
  • The local firm will be headquartered in Sydney and follows other major exchanges having already established a foothold on the island nation

Major cryptocurrency exchange FTX has formally set up shop in Australia following its acquisition of a major financial license in the country.

During a virtual address to a gathered crowd attending the country’s annual Blockchain Week, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said his company has officially launched FTX Australia.

The establishment of a domestic foothold follows FTX’s acquisition of an unnamed company that previously held an Australian Financial Services License. The move is in lockstep with other major exchanges, including Binance and Kraken, that having already established a domestic presence over the last two years.

Australians have been able to access the exchange’s international platform for some time, but FTX is hoping to get ahead of the regulatory curve by appeasing policymakers and working “proactively” with regulators.

“We’d love to work with regulators and lawmakers on understanding the crypto ecosystem and build out regulatory frameworks for analyzing them,” Bankman-Fried said.

He added FTX was “doing everything we can” to bring about a “robust healthy” ecosystem in the country in an environment that has consumer protection top of mind.

The domestic exchange will carry most of the bells and whistles of its parent by offering its products in the crypto derivative and spot markets, according to a statement on Sunday.

FTX Australia, which will be headquartered in Sydney, will act as the issuer of options contracts, futures contracts, contracts for difference and leveraged tokens.

Australia as a “regional hub”

Asked why he thought Australia was an important jurisdiction for global exchanges, the 30-year-old CEO said the country afforded a “big opportunity” to lead the rest of the region by driving innovation.

“I think the world is very much looking for a regional hub for crypto in APAC right now,” Bankman-Fried said. “Australia is a really significant demographic for the cryptocurrency industry, it’s something we’ve seen a ton of demand coming from.”

He said FTX’s move into the country was part of a “general push” over the last 12 months for the exchange to obtain licenses in “as much of the world as possible.”

The establishment of FTX Australia highlights the company’s “long-term commitment” to the local market and represents the “natural next step” in global expansion, the exchange said in its statement.

Last week, the exchange was granted a license to operate within the United Arab Emirates following the establishment of the emirate’s Virtual Asset Regulation Law, which also appointed a watchdog to monitor the budding sector.

Earlier in the month, the exchange consolidated its European operations under one umbrella in a bid to cater for clients across the bloc as well as in the Middle East.

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