Crypto moved a step closer to mainstream adoption today after one of the country’s biggest digital asset exchanges launched an interest rate offering into the retail market.
Swyftx has become the first Australian-owned exchange to offer customers the ability to receive interest on popular digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum through a feature called Earn.
The feature works by flipping the traditional lending model on its head. Investors convert dollars into cryptocurrency and then lend those digital assets to Swyftx in return for interest.
Swyftx Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Parsons, said Earn was likely to mark the start of a period of sustained crypto innovation across Australian financial markets.
“Crypto’s arrival into the financial ecosystem is like the jump from copper to fibreoptic,” said Parsons. “We’re able to offer access to rates through features like Earn that are simply not available in traditional finance at this time.”
“At the moment, you’ve got a lot of me-too type offerings in the market and that makes it appreciably more difficult for Aussies to diversify their portfolios and achieve their goals.
“We’re looking at significant pockets of traditional finance and thinking ‘you know what, we can do better than you’. We’re proud of the fact we’re able to offer a materially different option to all Aussies, not just current crypto users.”
Australian-owned Swyftx was founded in 2018 by high school friends Alex Harper (27) and Angus Goldman (27). It is the country’s top rated cryptocurrency exchange, with around 600,000 customers across the country. Up from 220,000 customers this time last year.
Australian and New Zealand customers will be able to earn interest with no fees by converting dollars into a variety of digital assets, including stablecoins that are designed to avoid volatility by tracking the value of fiat currencies.
Different digital assets will attract different levels of interest that reflect the underlying fundamentals of each individual asset, including price volatility. Popular stablecoins USDC and USDT will attract interest rates of up to 6.5%, with other assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum attracting up to 5%.
“We see Earn as complementing existing options in the retail financial sector. It’s a much needed alternative for diversification and we’ve worked very hard to make sure it’s secure, flexible and transparent enough to appeal to all Aussies and the full range of risk appetites,” said Parsons.
“You can earn up to 6.5% on a stablecoin like USDC if your aim is to try and avoid price fluctuations and just get a steady, compounded return. Or if you believe in the long-term fundamentals of a more volatile asset like Polkadot, you can get up to 12%.”
Investors will be able to withdraw funds from Earn at any time, with no exit fees or notice period. However, the feature is not covered by the Government’s Financial Claim Scheme and rates are variable.
Co-founded in 2018 by Alex Harper and Angus Goldman, Swyftx is the country’s top-rated cryptocurrency exchange, providing access to more than 320 digital currencies and crypto interest earning features. The group has grown its customer base across Australia and New Zealand to 600,000. It is an Australian digital currency exchange provider registered with AUSTRAC.