Independent Reserve Considers Expansion to Hong Kong

Australia’s Independent Reserve Eyes Expansion to Hong Kong Amidst Proposed Licensing Regime for Crypto Exchanges

Independent Reserve, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Australia, is looking into expanding its business in Hong Kong following the city’s recent proposal of a licensing regime for crypto exchanges. The move is in line with Hong Kong’s ambitions to become Asia’s next cryptocurrency hub.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on February 20, 2023, that it will release a proposed licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges set to take effect in June of the same year. Under the new regime, Hong Kong-based crypto companies must comply with various measures relating to the safe custody of assets, such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) countermeasures, and conflict of interest disclosures and audits.

Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve, expressed his interest in expanding the company’s business in Hong Kong, saying that “right now, it is looking very interesting” and that “the recent announcement by the regulators in Hong Kong does make Hong Kong look like a friendly jurisdiction.” He added that his team will visit Hong Kong next week to meet with banks, regulators, lawyers, and compliance experts to determine if the location suits the company.

If Independent Reserve decides to expand to Hong Kong, it will join other cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi and OKX. Hong Kong’s proximity to mainland China, where cryptocurrency is heavily regulated, may make it an attractive destination for crypto exchanges looking to tap into the Chinese market.

Przelozny also commented on the region’s political relationship with China, stating that he believes China is testing how a more relaxed cryptocurrency regime looks in Hong Kong. Despite concerns over the potential impact of China’s regulations on Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency industry, the city’s government has remained committed to developing the industry and positioning itself as a hub for digital assets.

Independent Reserve’s potential expansion to Hong Kong is a significant move for the company and a promising sign for Hong Kong’s burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. As the city continues to establish itself as a hub for digital assets, more and more companies are likely to follow suit.


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Massive jump in number of Australians who own crypto: Survey

The 2021 Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) survey of more than 2,000 people found that the percentage of Australians surveyed who own or have owned crypto has reached 28.8%, up from 18.4% in 2020.

The results suggest that growth in the sector is being driven by the positive experience of those who own crypto, with 89% of those surveyed saying they have made money or broken even, up from 78% in 2020.

Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny told Cointelegraph that these results didn’t come as a surprise to him, due to an environment in which it has become “very difficult to get returns on investments.”

He stated that “cryptocurrencies have easily outperformed any other assets over the last 12 months,” before adding:

“I think it’s quite natural that more and more people get interested in an asset class that’s clearly outperforming the rest of the market.”

In October, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin (BTC) is the official best-performing asset class of 2021.

Przelozny said that he expects the trend to continue as crypto matures and becomes less volatile. He said that the “biggest ally” of cryptocurrency is that “the longer it’s around, the more accepted it becomes.”

“With time, I think you’ll see volatility and the perceived risk of this investment reduce.”

28.6% of those surveyed by the IRCI who don’t currently own crypto said they would invest if there were better consumer protections in place. Another 26.6% said they’d buy crypto if industry regulation was improved.

Regulation is needed for continued growth

Przelozny said that “the sector still desperately needs regulation to catch up and provide greater security for both investors and cryptocurrency businesses.”

“I do think that once regulation comes on board, we’ll see a whole new class of investors into this space. And I think that’s what we’ve seen in other jurisdictions, like over in Singapore.”

Przelozny told Cointelegraph that he anticipates that older Aussies over 65 will make up the next big wave of investors as these regulatory issues are addressed.

“They’re looking for consumer protections from the government before they’re willing to take the plunge and enter the cryptocurrency market.”

Unsurprisingly, the 24 to 34-year-old age group was the most trusting of crypto with 27.6% saying they bought in to get rich, while disbelievers in the system are most likely to be found in the over 65 age group.

Related: Australian women owning crypto has doubled in 2021: Survey

According to the IRCI, Bitcoin remains the most well-known and popular cryptocurrency, with 89.1% of Australians surveyed saying they’ve heard of it and 21.1% actually owning Bitcoin. The second most popular crypto asset is Ethereum, at 11% reported ownership, up from just 5% in 2020.

The IRCI is an annual cross-sectional survey of more than 2,000 Australians conducted by PureProfile. Independent Reserve says its sample was reflective of the country’s gender, age, and geographic distribution.


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Australian women owning crypto has doubled in 2021: Survey

A new survey shared with Cointelegraph has found that the proportion of Australian women who own crypto assets has doubled in the last year.

The 2021 Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) of 2000 Australians found that the number of women who currently or have previously invested in crypto rose from 10.3% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. The percentage of female Bitcoin owners also rose from 8.3% to 14.8% according to the survey.

Independent Reserve is an Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2013, it has more than 200,000 users.

Karen Cohen, Deputy Chair for the Board of Blockchain Australia, said that more women have entered the crypto market this year as the asset class has continued to become a mainstream investment. Speaking to Cointelegraph, she said:

“I think that it tells you that investing in crypto is less risky and is just one of many different ways you can invest. I think it’s sort of giving the signal that if a bank thinks it’s okay, then you know it’s a safer place to invest.”

Cohen cited examples such as the CBA adding crypto trading options to its app in early November.

Co-founder of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny added that “over time, as cryptocurrency investments become more acceptable and mainstream, the perceived risk also reduces.”

He added: “I think that as that happens, you’ll see more and more women enter the market.”

Research by Grayscale from 2019 showed that women tend to be more risk-averse investors, which is often attributed as a reason for the gender gap between female and male crypto investors.

The ICRI also found that women were more likely to listen to family and friends about crypto. 56.7% of the women surveyed said that they would enter the crypto market based on advice from family and friends, as opposed to 42.2% of the men surveyed.

Cohen said, “A lot of women are getting referrals from their friends and family, so they’re getting a feeling a bit safer to get involved.”

On the other hand, 45.9% of men said they would consider entering the crypto market due to interest sparked by media coverage, compare to 41.8% of women surveyed.

Closing the gender gap

Cohen said that moving forward, she expects that total gender parity among crypto investors is still “a while away,” because it’s so entangled with gendered stereotypes and the way that women are brought up to understand risk and investment.

Przelozny agreed, saying that he couldn’t possibly speculate as to when the investment gap will close. He said: “As to when it becomes 50/50, I don’t know. But I think it’s definitely trending in the right direction.”

Cohen also said that as the Metaverse and blockchain gaming begins to dominate the crypto market, users can expect “the landscape to completely change again.”

“Is gaming more of a boy’s club than crypto?” she asked, concluding that “nobody really knows.”

Related: How women are changing the face of enterprise blockchain, literally!

In last year’s IRCI report, Cohen urged decision-makers in the crypto industry to include women in events and panel discussions, saying “we are what we see”.

The IRCI is an annual cross-sectional survey of over 2,000 Australians conducted by PureProfile. Independent Reserve says its sample was reflective of the country’s gender, age, and geographic distribution.


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Australian Crypto Exchange to Delist BSV Over ‘Bullying’ Threat to Bitcoin Developers

Independent Reserve, one of the largest digital currency exchanges in Australia, says it will delist the bitcoin SV cryptocurrency due to controversial behavior by its team.

In an announcement Wednesday, the exchange said, “In light of recent events and community feedback Bitcoin SV (BSV) and related trading pairs will be delisted.”

CoinDesk reached out to clarify the reasons for the move, with CEO Adrian Przelozny responding:

Bitcoin is ‘The People’s Money’. At its very core are the principles of openness and freedom and these were also the founding values of Independent Reserve. The behaviour shown by the team behind BSV has been completely counter to these ideals, repeatedly spreading misinformation and making baseless threats against the community. Recent talk of legal action against developers working to improve the Bitcoin ecosystem proved to be the final straw. These are the actions of a bully and they must stop.

Przelozny’s comments appear, in part, to reference threats by high-profile BSV proponent Craig Wright to sue entities hosting the bitcoin white paper online, claiming he owns the copyright. Earlier this month, Wright sent take-down letters from his lawyers to several entities, with Bitcoin Core – bitcoin’s primary developer team – complying in the face of a costly legal battle.

Wright controversially claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin, but has yet prove his claim to the satisfaction of most in the community and media, bar some supporters of BSV. Wright also claims BSV “is bitcoin,” making the claim in the title of his blog.

The bitcoin white paper was originally released under the permissive MIT license, meaning anyone is free to use or distribute it. Since Wright sent out his legal letters, a number of notable entities have taking the decision to host the white paper, including Square, the city of Miami and the governmental websites of Colombia and Estonia.

Independent Reserve will halt trading of BSV on March 28, allowing a further six months for customers to withdraw any BSV holdings from the platform.



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