ASX Chief Executive: More Crypto Companies to List on Australian Stock Exchange

Dominic Stevens, chief executive of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), predicts that more companies with crypto ties could be listed on the Australian sharemarket in the coming year as cryptocurrencies start to play a bigger role in the tech industry.

With an eventful year of crypto companies making it into the mainstream, it seems 2022 may have some more of the same in store. The soon-to-retire ASX chief announced in his retirement speech last week that his mission over the past five years has been to expand the small role of tech companies in Australia’s mining and bank-heavy sharemarket.

Stevens has attempted to do this by allowing Australia to make strides in access to crypto but also by competing globally in the development of the blockchain industry. According to Max Cunningham, group executive of listings at the ASX, the exchange was establishing a framework for other companies backed by blockchain to debut by the middle of this year.

We are moving on it and our goal is to bring investment-grade opportunities in various crypto asset classes to the ASX in the coming months and years,” Cunningham told The Sydney Morning Herald.

I think as the industry matures, you may see Square-like companies listing into the future, but we’re protective of the quality of the companies on our exchange, and it is a very fast-moving space.

Stevens’ comments came just as Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly Square) was listed on the ASX on January 20 after acquiring the Australian buy-now pay-later firm, Afterpay. The merged company will trade under the ticker SQ after being the first cryptocurrency-related company in the bourse’s history to be listed.

Initially, the ASX was cautious of how it approached crypto-affiliated companies but, as 2021 showed, Australia has been a hotbed for development in the nascent crypto industry. In October the ASX gave the go-ahead to investors to invest in crypto-based ventures through an exchange-traded fund (ETF). The following month, Australia also welcomed Chainalysis, one of the leading blockchain analytics firms, to establish a new office in Canberra after partnering up with the Commonwealth Bank to meet increased demand for its products.

Stevens further revealed that the ASX was looking into adding “pure” cryptocurrency ETFs to allow investment directly into the top cryptocurrencies:

“At the end of the day if you look out to 2030, there will only be more technology companies, not less, and it will be a bigger section of the index because that’s just the way the world’s going. To not actually focus on that would have been a mistake.”

— Dominic Stevens, chief executive, ASX