Seychelles-based crypto exchange OKX has signaled its intention to expand its crypto services to Australia, a country it believes is primed to take on the next wave of crypto adoption.The trading platform explained in a March 29 statement that Australia would be a key growth market for the firm moving forward. The firm states it provides services to over 100 countries. In August 2018, OKXexpanded its operations into Malta, and last July, it secured a provisional license in Dubai.“We see Australia as an indispensable part of this strategy and a key growth market. With such a strong uptake of crypto in Australia already, we’re committed to the local market and aim to build a strong local office,” the firm wrote in a statement. BIG NEWS Super excited to announce that OKX will be opening an office in Australia! We had an awesome time celebrating in Melbourne with OKX partners @danielricciardo, @scottyjames31, and McLaren F1 driver @oscarpiastri.Find out more https://t.co/Sg3rGvSjhD pic.twitter.com/FpmSOhLvXt— OKX (@okx) March 29, 2023
Haider Rafique, the chief marketing officer of OKX, told Cointelegraph that the decision to expand “Down Under” was driven by Australians’ “huge appetite” for more crypto investment and trading products:“What I’ve interestingly found over the last 5-6 years is that Australian retail investors certainly show a huge appetite for exploring crypto as an investment vehicle and also for trading. When I came to OKX, I certainly saw that in terms of web traffic and people from Australia trying to explore OKX services.”Rafique believes Australians are above the curve in terms of crypto education, which he hopes will make OKX’s move into the market all the more smooth. “They’re pretty familiar with crypto, the value of blockchain, the promise that it holds in the future, and I think from us as a company, it makes it really intriguing for us to extend our services in this market,” he said, adding:“I think the value creation we can do for Australians will ultimately lift all boats.”OKX Ambassadors Daniel Ricciardo and Scotty James with OKX CMO Haider Rafique at the Q&A session held in Melbourne on March 30. Source: OKXA September survey from Australian crypto exchange Swyftx found that about 1 million Aussies are expected to enter into crypto for the first time within the next 12 months, which represents about 4% of the country’s population.Rafique said he was also impressed with Australia’s crypto startup scene.Celebrations in Melbourne are in full swing as #OKX announced opening our office in Australia! Big s/o to OKX partners @danielricciardo, @scottyjames31, @oscarpiastri, our team & frens for joining the fun pic.twitter.com/m9rvVOmwYq— OKX (@okx) March 29, 2023
It is understood that the trading firm has not yet registered with AUSTRAC, the licensing regime required to offer cryptocurrency services in Australia.OKX was not in a position yet to share where the Australian office would potentially be located or how large the team would be. OKX currently employs over 1,750 staff, according to LinkedIn.Related: OKX latest proof of reserves reveals $8.9B in assets OKX is in the process of applying for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Hong Kong too, Rafique confirmed.The expansion plan into Australia and Hong Kong comes as OKX recently announced plans to cease its services to Canadians in June.Magazine: Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?