Jordan Michaelides – head of institutional investment at Coinjar – told Business Insider that trading volumes reached $1.4 billion in the first half of this year.
Both Coinjar and Sydney-based exchange Independent Reserve (IR) have caught the interest of established players in venture capital.
Coinjar counts VC fund Blackbird Ventures as an investor, while IR sold a 25% interest to a group led by KTM Ventures Innovation Fund earlier this year.
Coinjar’s claim that it has seen $1.4 billion in trading volumes suggests burgeoning growth in the sector, but a spokesperson for corporate regulator ASIC was circumspect on how much volume is really moving through marketplaces.
“Tracking the actual industry is even newer than the sector itself,” they said.
However, “such aspects of the volume of transactions can be quite opaque, and you could imagine some of the claims by participants might warrant a certain scepticism.”
ASIC’s focus has largely been on dodgy initial coin offerings (ICOs). But the spokesperson told BI that parts of the market still operate outside of regulatory scope.
“Much of the so-called ‘cryptocurrency’ activity is either unregulated or regulated only in part,” the spokesperson said.
As a result, there are still many pitfalls and people considering crypto investments should do so “with great caution”, the spokesperson added.
In addition to ASIC, the Australian crypto market is also being monitored by AUSTRAC, the federal government’s financial intelligence agency.
Both Michaelides and Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny said their respective exchanges have met obligations with AUSTRAC in accordance with federal legislation, after new compliance rules were set up in April.
AUSTRAC did not respond to a request for comment.