Australia-based BTC Markets is the first bitcoin exchange in the country with an official financial services licence. The license was issued by the Australian financial regulator to BTCM Payments, the sister company of BTC Markets.
Preparing for upcoming legislation
Although the license is not currently required to operate a bitcoin exchange in Australia, BTC Markets says they have secured the license primarily with an eye to the future. New legislation is on the way in Australia and the license in question will make it easier for the exchange to meet the requirements that come with it.
Furthermore, the licence is obviously good for public confidence in the bitcoin exchange. In the eyes of the general public, the industry still has a high "Wild West 2.0" content and steps like this help to improve that image.
The licence that BTC Markets has obtained allows it to provide financial advice, trade and create a market for financial products. It also makes it possible to manage assets for clients or open savings accounts.
Building a bridge between bitcoin and traditional finance
BTC Markets does not in principle need the licence for their current portfolio of operations, but says it does so to build a bridge between bitcoin and the rest of the financial world and possibly to offer new products to clients.
The award of the licence marks the end of a period of almost two years, as BTC Market already submitted its registration for the licence in August 2020. BTC Markets is a major player in Australia with a daily trading volume of approximately 4.7 million Australian dollars.
Interestingly, in February the company signed a deal with SelfWealth, an Australian platform on which users can trade stocks, to also give their users access to bitcoin from next June 30. The deal is likely part of the proverbial bridge that BTC Markets is trying to build with the traditional financial world.