Coinbase Eyes Australia’s $600 Billion Superannuation Market Amid Rising Crypto Demand

Coinbase Eyes Australia’s $600 Billion Superannuation Market Amid Rising Crypto Demand
  • Coinbase is planning to launch a service to allow Aussie investors to more easily allocate digital assets to their self-managed superannuation funds.
  • Coinbase Asia Pacific General Manager, John O’Loghlen, says the offering targets investors wanting to make one-off allocations to their super fund.

Coinbase, the largest US-based crypto exchange, is planning to target Australia’s self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) market, according to a report from Bloomberg. 

Data from the ATO shows SMSFs hold over $850 billion, around a quarter of the total $3.3 trillion superannuation market, but digital assets such as Bitcoin only comprise about $1 billion of all SMSF investments.

Coinbase apparently sees this as an opportunity for growth—the exchange’s Asia Pacific General Manager, John O’Loghlen, said the service Coinbase is currently developing would allow Aussies to more easily include digital assets in their SMSFs.

Related: Coinbase APAC Chief Calls for Clearer Regulations in Australia, Cites Innovation Potential 

Coinbase To Target Super Fund HODLers

O’Loghlen says Coinbase’s new service will target SMSF members who want to make a one-off crypto allocation into their fund, telling Bloomberg:

Self managed super funds might make a single allocation and set and forget it…We are working on an offering to service those clients really well on a one-off basis — to have them trade with us and stay with us.

John O’Loghlen, Coinbase Asia Pacific Managing Director

It’s expected Bitcoin spot ETFs will be launched in Australia later this year, but O’Loghlen doesn’t see Coinbase’s SMSF offering as competing directly with these new funds:

We don’t see this as cannibalising ETF players, but more a rising tide and a big enough interest for someone to come in through their own self managed portal.

John O’Loghlen, Coinbase Asia Pacific Managing Director

Industry Looking To Increase Crypto Super Allocations 

Coinbase isn’t the first to try to target Australia’s SMSF market. International players such as Kraken, and local exchanges including Independent Reserve and BTC Markets have all been looking to the SMSF market to increase their client bases. 

Related: Crypto Holdings in Super Funds Quadruple, ATO Figures Reveal

However, according to Australia’s Financial Advice Association, one of the big issues faced by all of these exchanges is that financial advisers are often prohibited from recommending clients add crypto to their SMSFs because their employers don’t allow it or crypto isn’t covered by professional indemnity insurance. 

Speaking to the Australia Financial Review earlier this year, the Association’s CEO, Sarah Abood said:

Most financial advisers would see these types of assets as speculation rather than investments, at this stage [and] very few would be willing to make a recommendation to a client to invest in them…Most advisers, and their licensees, will give them a wide berth at least until there’s a solid performance track record, and an ‘investment grade’ asset consultant rating.

Sarah Abood, CEO of Financial Advice Association

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