Australian crypto start-up expands into New Zealand

Australian cryptocurrency start-up, Swyftx, has launched in New Zealand following a period of rapid growth that has seen it become one of the country’s fastest growing tech companies.

Swyftx, a digital assets exchange founded by high school friends Alex Harper (27) and Angus Goldman (26), enters the Kiwi market after achieving revenue growth of more than 6,000% in the last financial year. It is now the second largest Australian cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.

Swyftx was founded in a Brisbane house-share by Harper and Goldman in 2018. The two met at a national computer science program.

In the last financial year, Swyftx’s customer base grew by 1,659% – adding up to 8,000 users a day to its platform in 2021. The company currently employs more than 120 staff – up from 11 team members at the start of the 20/21 financial year.

The Brisbane-based business has around 350,000 customers across Australia and becomes the largest digital assets provider by range of coins offered of any crypto exchange registered to operate in New Zealand.

“It’s still early days for crypto but we’re confident it will reshape how finance works in the ANZ region.” said Swyftx Co-Founder and CEO, Alex Harper.

“The Australian market has developed extremely quickly this year and we see similar growth potential in New Zealand. Looking forward, the potential applications and use cases for blockchain technology and digital assets are almost limitless in both countries.”

Swyftx has expanded significantly over the last year following rapid growth in the global cryptocurrency market. The total market capitalisation of all digital assets grew from around USD $380bn in August last year to a peak of over $2tn this month.

“For a year and a half, Angus and I spent many long hours building the business from a small room in our Brisbane share-house. We’re now the second biggest, and most trusted digital asset exchange in Australia,” said Harper.

“Swyftx has been completely bootstrapped. We’ve focused on security, customer service, low fees, and diverse digital asset investment options. We’re confident the model will appeal to Kiwi crypto users.”

Harper said around 800,000 Kiwis were forecast to use cryptocurrency, with the total market for digital assets in New Zealand estimated to be around $200m this year.

Swyftx officially launched its New Zealand platform on 31 August, 2021. Its entry into the market increases the number of digital assets available through NZ registered crypto exchanges to more than 280.

The additional cryptocurrencies are estimated to have a total market cap in excess of USD $25bn.

“The Australian and New Zealand markets share important similarities, including a generally sophisticated understanding of cryptocurrencies among users, so this is a move we’ve wanted to make for a long time,” said Harper.

“We’ve already got high demand from New Zealanders using our Australian platform. We’re also seeing significantly more institutional investors turning to crypto as a defence against inflationary pressures and low rates. A trend we expect to see replicated in New Zealand.”

Harper said New Zealand crypto trading platforms tend to work differently from those in other markets.

“Existing NZ exchanges work by simply booking a trade with them. What this means is that you send them the money for a cryptocurrency and they send you the coin. It is basically just a pass through of funds.

“Our exchange allows local crypto users to hold an account in NZ dollars on the platform and make deposits easily through bank transfer – giving users the ability to trade in and out of different coins more easily.”

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