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Australia-Listed Non-Bank Broker SelfWealth to Add Crypto to Its Platform

Cath Whitaker, CEO of the online broker, said the ability to buy crypto and stocks in one place will be an "Australian first."

Jul 12, 2021 at 3:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:23 p.m. UTC

SelfWealth, an Australian Securities Exchange-listed (ASX) company and one of the country's largest non-bank online brokers with 95,000 investors, is looking to add crypto to its platform.

According to a report Sunday by the Australian Financial Review, the company is in discussions with cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to add functionality for trading the nascent asset class.

Around A$5.9 billion (US$4.4 billion) in the total value of securities is currently held on the SelfWealth platform.

The company plans to add up to 10 cryptos on its platform, including bitcoin and ether, by year's end that will be held in an integrated third-party wallet. SelfWealth will also look to charge a flat percentage fee for every crypto trade it conducts on behalf of clients as is the case amongst its traditional equities trades.

Over two-thirds of its customer base, comprising of traders and investors, hold or plan to invest in digital assets, per the report, signifying an increase in demand among the country's traditional investors.

SelfWealth CEO Cath Whitaker said being able to buy and sell crypto as well as trade local and U.S.-based shares using the ASX's Clearing House Electronic Subregister System, or CHESS, on the same platform would be an “Australian first.”

In the U.S., platforms such as Robinhood already allow customers to trade shares and crypto in one place but Australia's investors have been slower to adopt cryptocurrency trading among traditional types.

"Moving between popular investment types usually requires access to multiple trading platforms and for investors to move money multiple times,” said Whitaker.

The ASX is looking to replace its aging CHESS system with a distributed ledger technology variant in a bid to speed up settlement and transactions, though not without its delays. No exact date has been given on when the replacement will happen.

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