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Coinbase Targets Crypto Demand in Australian Pension Sector

Australian self-managed pensions have $664 million allocated in crypto and Coinbase wants a piece of the pie

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Australia's self-managed pension sector has caught the attention of Coinbase, which is developing a service to target the segment.

Self-managed pensions make up a quarter of Australia's $2.5 trillion pension system and have $664 million allocated in crypto.

These portfolios could hit another record as Bitcoin's price continues to rise, and Coinbase is keen to be involved.

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“Self-managed super funds might just make a single allocation and set it and forget it,” said Coinbase's Asia-Pacific managing director, John 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.”

Coinbase's interest comes as Australia is seemingly warming to the crypto industry. The country is set to launch a wave of Bitcoin ETFs on its top exchange by the end of this year.

Issuers including VanEck Associates and Sydney-based BetaShares Holdings have applied for listings with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The exchange, which handles 80% of the country’s equity trading, is expected to approve the crypto ETFs by the end of 2024.

Local Bitcoin and digital asset funds management firm, DigitalX, revealed in February that it has also launched an application.

These applications follow approvals and launches of US Bitcoin ETFs in January. VanEck was one of the issuers then too.

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It's not just Coinbase eyeing Australia either. OKX has made its official debut down under by launching its spot and derivatives crypto trading platform in Australia.

All Australian users will be able to access spot trading services while verified wholesale clients can engage in derivatives trading.

Users can deposit and withdraw AUD via most Australian banks to access OKX's 85 crypto tokens and 170 crypto spot pairs.

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Fidelity which has $4.9 trillion in AUM, also said pension funds are are particularly drawn to the asset class following the approval of Bitcoin ETFs earlier this year.

Manuel Nordeste, Fidelity's VP of digital assets, has said the firm is actively discussing Bitcoin allocations with major pension funds.

"Now, we’re starting to have conversations with the larger, real money institutional investor types, and we’re getting some of those clients, as well as corporates and so on," Nordeste said.

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