Crypto start-up forced offshore after alleged ASX bias

However, attitudes of many institutions in Australia have been slow to change, with numerous crypto businesses still weathering ‘debanking’ by the big four banks. Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds were only approved by the corporate regulator this month.This stagnation has prompted industry criticism of major gatekeepers like the ASX, with Perth microinvesting startup Bamboo also saying the ASX’s unwillingness to work with the sector was causing a “brain drain”, with companies flocking overseas.In a statement, a spokesman for the ASX said the exchange had been “deliberately cautious” towards crypto assets in the past, with many listing proposals between 2017 and 2019 deemed not suitable by the bourse. However, the operator is currently reviewing its framework to ensure appropriate crypto offerings can be brought to market.“The market and our thinking is evolving. It is a rapidly developing space and some cryptocurrency assets in particular, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have gained a degree of acceptance within the market,” the spokesman said.“ASX is very aware of the growing interest in – and improving credibility of – crypto-related businesses, but must strike a balance that protects the interests of the Australian market overall.”Banxa is now listed in Canada, with an IPO earlier this year valuing the business at $CAD150 million ($163 million), a valuation Mr Arians believes the business would not have been able to achieve locally.Loading“We’ve always had trouble finding supportive investors in Australia. We have Thorney and Alium Capital, who have been super supportive, but beyond that, there hasn’t been much support from Australia,” he said.“But the moment we went to North America, we had so much attention and much bigger tickets from much more interesting, more visionary investors that really saw the long term.”Mr Arians is excited about the potential crypto reforms put on the table by NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg and is hopeful they may reduce some of the barriers for crypto startups locally.

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