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FTX Opens Up Shop in Australia Amid Regulatory Action

The leading crypto exchange has acquired an Australian Financial Services Licence and opened a branch in Australia.

FTX Opens Up Shop in Australia Amid Regulatory Action
Shutterstock cover by Taras Vyshnya

Key Takeaways

  • FTX is expanding to Australia through a regulated subsidiary.
  • FTX Australia will offer a full suite of spot and derivatives-based crypto products.
  • Meanwhile, Australia is readying to overhaul its crypto regime to ensure regulatory clarity and certainty and foster innovation and competition in the space.

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One of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, FTX, has announced plans to expand to Australia as the country prepares to regulate the industry. 

FTX Expands in Australia

FTX continues its global expansion.

In a Monday press release, the leading crypto exchange announced the launch of FTX Australia, a regulated domestic crypto exchange offering products in the crypto derivatives and spot markets. 

The new branch obtained an Australian Financial Services Licence by acquiring an unnamed company that previously held the license, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried revealed Monday during the country’s annual Blockchain Week conference. “The establishment of FTX Australia should provide all our local clients with the confidence of trading on a registered and licensed platform,” Bankman-Fried said in today’s press release. “As in other jurisdictions within which we operate, significant resources have been allocated to proactively engage with local regulators.”

The Australia expansion comes weeks after the exchange launched FTX Europe, a Cyprus-registered subsidiary headquartered in Switzerland that’s licensed to operate across the European Economic Area. According to recent reports, the exchange is also looking to expand into the U.K. and is currently in talks with the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.

FTX Australia will offer a comprehensive suite of exchange and OTC-based products, including options contracts, futures contracts, and leveraged tokens.

Australia Readies New Crypto Regime

The FTX Australia launch coincides with the Australian government’s push to overhaul its regulatory framework for digital assets and create a secure and friendly environment for domestic crypto businesses and consumers. 

On Monday, the government released a consultation paper asking the industry for feedback on its proposed licensing and custody requirements for crypto asset secondary service providers. The proposals outlined in the document acknowledge the crypto industry’s importance to the Australian economy and the need for regulatory clarity and certainty to foster innovation and competition.

“The Government is keen to harness the economic benefits from the technological innovations arising from the crypto ecosystem for Australia and create a local crypto ecosystem that consumers can trust,” said the paper. The government also stated its support for “regulation that encourages the growth of a thriving, legitimate, regulated industry of CASSPrs.”

The consultation paper suggests implementing a licensing regime for crypto service providers that would be separate from the Australian Financial Services license. To avoid regulatory duplication, crypto firms would not be subject to multiple regulatory regimes and would only be required to acquire the dedicated CASSP license. Notably, the proposed regime will not apply to decentralized platforms or protocols.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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