BTC Markets becomes first Australian crypto firm to get a financial services license

While the license isn’t currently needed for crypto companies in Australia, BTC Markets says it is preparing the exchange for upcoming regulations.

Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has become the first crypto company in the country to gain a financial services license.

The license was issued by the country’s financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to BTC Markets’ sister company BTCM Payments.

An Australian Financial Services (AFS) license allows the holder to give advice, deal in and create a market for a financial product. It also permits the provision of custodial or depository services, among other perks.

While crypto and digital asset companies don’t require an AFS to provide services due to the lack of regulation in the country, BTC Markets says the move allows it to more closely bridge the gap between traditional finance and crypto while offering new products to its customers.

It marks the end of an almost two-year wait for the firm for the AFS license, which was registered in August 2020.

BTC Markets has certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for information security management and is certified by the country’s crypto industry body, Blockchain Australia.

BTC Markets CEO Catherine Bowler said the license would prepare her exchange business for what she believes is impending regulation and complements its progress in obtaining a System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 certification.

Related: Binance Australia CEO: Regulations will establish higher standards in crypto

BTC Markets has established itself as a key player in the Australian crypto industry with $4.7 million in daily volume, according to CoinGecko.  

In February, the exchange signed a deal with the stock market trading platform SelfWealth to offer SelfWealth users access to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Chainlink (LINK) and Uniswap (UNI) from June 30.

Other exchanges have followed suit. Earlier this month, Australian crypto exchange Swyftx completed a $1.5 billion merger deal with online stock market investing platform Superhero.

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