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A large majority of senior financial decision makers in Australian businesses want policy makers to help the country become a global leader in cryptocurrency, a survey shows.

Four out of five (80%) CEOs, managing directors and other senior decision makers with financial responsibilities agreed that regulators should support the country to adopt blockchain and digital asset technology, according to the YouGov survey.

The survey was commissioned by Australia’s top rated cryptocurrency exchange, Swyftx, which has more than 500,000 retail and business customers across the ANZ region.

Business leaders cited the potential to access new marketplaces like NFTs and the metaverse as their primary interest in crypto (64%). This was followed by the ability to tokenise assets (63%). Just four per cent said there would be no benefit to their business from digital assets.

The survey results also suggest there is potential for regulatory clarity to rapidly accelerate business adoption of assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum for customer payments.

More than four in five (82%) financial decision makers said they would be much more likely (44%) or a little more likely (38%) to use crypto as a medium of exchange if digital assets were regulated.

“An increasing number of business leaders understand the potentially disruptive impact of blockchain technology and Web 3.0 on their markets. They’re just not necessarily ready to take the regulatory risk they see at the moment,” said Swyftx head of corporate partnerships, Tommy Honan.

“We think a significant number of businesses are playing a waiting game now. They want greater regulatory certainty before they integrate cryptocurrency into their payment systems and investments.”

The Government is expected to begin consulting on cryptocurrency regulation early this year, with the potential for a regulatory system to be introduced within a year. Honan said this could be a trigger for mainstream business adoption, depending on the shape of any regulatory regime.

The YouGov survey was based on findings from a national survey of 259 CEOs, managing directors, business owners and other senior financial decision makers at business of all sizes between 21st October and 5th November last year.

In total, 37% of survey respondents represented businesses with turnover of AUD $100m or more, including 6% with a turnover of $1bn or over. Sectors represented in the survey included retail, banking, insurance, education, business services and accounting.

“We were quite surprised by just how bullish Australian financial leaders were on the adoption of crypto,” said Honan. “In total, 77% expect to see digital assets become a mainstream medium of exchange within five years.

“This is probably ahead of most international analyst expectations. But it does speak to the fact that Australia has among the highest levels of crypto adoption in the world.”

In total, 25% of Australians either currently own (17%) or have owned (8%) cryptocurrency in the past.

In October, the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre released a report recommending the Government establish a custody or depository regime for cryptocurrencies, as well as a licensing regime for exchanges to include capital adequacy, auditing and responsible person tests.

About Swyftx

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.

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