Coinbase Eyes Big Opportunity with Australia’s Self-Managed Pension Funds

Last Updated on May 16, 2024

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Coinbase mobile app running at smartphone. Source: Iryna Budanova -

Key Takeaways:

  • Coinbase Expansion: Coinbase is launching a new service targeting Australia’s self-managed pension funds, aiming to create a tailored trading experience for this specific group.
  • Market Strategy: The initiative is designed to complement, not compete with, the existing ETF market in the financial landscape, according to Coinbase’s Asia-Pacific Managing Director, John O’Loghlen.
  • Investment Trends: Reports indicate a substantial increase in cryptocurrency investments within self-managed pensions in Australia, rising from $131.5 million in 2019 to nearly $664 million today, despite some market challenges.

Coinbase is actively developing a new service aimed at Australia’s self-managed pension funds, signaling its intention to solidify a foothold in this niche market.

John O’Loghlen, the Asia-Pacific Managing Director for the exchange, conveyed to Bloomberg that this initiative is designed to attract and retain clients by offering a unique, tailored trading experience.

According to O’Loghlen, “We are working on an offering to service those clients really well on a one-off basis — to have them trade with us and stay with us.”

This move by Coinbase is seen as a strategic expansion rather than a competition with existing ETF players.

O’Loghlen emphasizes that it aims to complement the growing financial landscape, stating, “We don’t see this as cannibalizing the ETF players.”

The initiative comes as crypto’s integration into self-managed pensions has been increasing.

Since March 2019, there has been a notable rise in the allocation of crypto assets within these funds.

Reports from the Australian Taxation Office reveal that nearly A$1 billion ($664 million) is now invested in cryptocurrencies by these pensions, a significant jump from $131.5 million in December 2019.

However, this sector has not been without its challenges, as highlighted by a 2023 Reuters report which noted that considerable losses have been incurred by some investors.

The renewed interest in the cryptocurrency sector, spurred by recent spot-ETF approvals in the U.S., has likely influenced this strategic move by Coinbase.

O’Loghlen is optimistic about similar regulatory advancements in Australia, suggesting that the crypto market could see further integration into traditional financial mechanisms.

O’Loghlen further explained the philosophy behind their approach, “Self-managed super funds might just make a single allocation, set it and forget it.”

This method indicates a more hands-off investment strategy that could appeal to retirees seeking to diversify their portfolios without constant management.

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