Jack Dorsey’s Block to List on Australia’s ASX in First Major Crypto Listing in Exchange’s History

The move marks a significant first for the country to list a crypto-related company

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ASX Building, Sydney | Credit: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • Following its merger with buy now pay later firm Afterpay, Jack Dorsey’s Block will list on the Australian Securities Exchange on January 20
  • The move marks a significant first for a crypto-related company to be listed in the country and paves the way for similar companies to feature on the ASX, according to the exchange’s Group Executive of Listings

The newly merged Block, formerly Jack Dorsey’s Square (SQ), and buy now pay later firm Afterpay is expected to begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) later this month, marking a major first in the bourse’s history to list a cryptocurrency-related company.

Following Square’s rebranding to Block Inc in December, the financial-services company announced last Friday it had bought Australia’s Afterpay and had concluded a month-long delay for approval by the Bank of Spain on Wednesday.

The merged company is expected to trade via the ASX on January 20 under the ticker (SQ) while Afterpay (APT) shares will be suspended from trading the day before. The move marks a significant first for a crypto-related company to be listed in the country, which was made possible through its purchase of the buy now pay later firm.

Square, which owns the crypto peer-to-peer payment service CashApp, posted earnings exceeding $1.1 billion in gross profits for Q3, 2021, according to a recent shareholder letter. Buy now pay later firms have risen to prominence within Australia in recent years and offer customers the ability to pay for goods and services in installments instead of incurring the full cost upfront.

Caroline Bowler, CEO of Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets, told Blockworks the move was welcome news for the ASX and the Australian blockchain community.

“The industry here has irreversibly moved forward,” said Bowler. “Happily for the ASX, there are a significant number of quality Australian companies in this space. This is an opportunity for the exchange to become a real powerhouse in the sector.”

Max Cunningham, Group Executive of Listings at the ASX told the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, the exchange was establishing a framework for other companies backed by blockchain to debut by the middle of this year.

“We are moving on it and our goal is to bring investment-grade opportunities in various crypto asset classes to the ASX in the coming months and years,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham also said his exchange wanted to ensure cryptos had an “appropriate level of maturity and security” when they hit the traditional market, according to the report.

The ASX has also been seeking to replace its outdated Clearing House Electronic Subregister System with a blockchain-based one, currently in its testing phase, and is expected sometime in the next two years.

Square’s shares were down 5.86% by the end of the daily closing bell in the US while Afterpay’s share price was also down by 7.74% by press time.


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