‘A little gem’: Among listed companies, DigitalX has the 19th largest corporate BTC stash worldwide
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DigitalX is the only publicly traded Australian company with Bitcoin on its balance sheets – and its new CEO recently began taking a portion of her salary in BTC as well.
Alongside Tesla and galaxy digital, there’s some 27 publicly listed companies worldwide which have a bit of Bitcoin in their corporate treasury, according to a list compiled by Coingecko.
DigitalX (ASX:DCC) holds 215.95 BTC – worth roughly A$12.1 million – putting it 19th on the list.
“We do have this unique aspect to us as a listed company of understanding how crypto treasuries work, the mechanics of it.”
So says DigitalX chief executive Lisa Wade, who alongside plotting the next stage of growth for the $52 million company, has been exploring what will come next for digital Australia and how best the country can take advantage of it.
“I think about our mission of growing web 3.0, and making Australia lead through web 3.0, and really allowing Australians to believe in what it can do.
Well, it’s a good question. Web 3.0 in shorthand is the third generation of internet services – an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation and token-based economics.
The concept goes well beyond the Semantic Web envisioned by web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee.
While Web 3.0 uses technologies based on Semantic Web concepts and natural language processing to make user interaction more intuitive, it also has other features, such as widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and trustless or permissionless systems, building out of the blockchain and peer-to-peer networks.
“The treasury and how our corporate and crypto will combine in the near-term is hugely important,” Wade adds.
Most corporate treasurers are very early in their understanding of crypto assets, she says.
“For me, having this Bitcoin treasury is like a little gem.”
A former NAB senior executive who began at DigitalX a few weeks ago, Wade is taking five per cent of her salary in Bitcoin using a service provided by Tasmanian company, Get Paid in Bitcoin.
“Why did I do that? I want my company to be 100 per cent web 3.0, and experimenting with use cases of receiving money (via Bitcoin) adds to that authenticity,” says Wade.
An ESG advocate, Wade also bought a “Carbon Creatures” NFT that serves as an offset to reduce her carbon footprint – but she questions the narrative around BTC being environmentally unfriendly.
“Everybody’s very critical of Bitcoin, but nobody ever knows the environmental impact of (paper) money,” says Wade.
“What’s the carbon footprint of printing money? What are the chemicals that are used in printing money and how are they managed? What is the cost of disseminating it?”
More and more Bitcoin miners are using renewable energy to mine the cryptocurrency, Wade noted.
DigitalX plans to soon offer all its staff the option to receive a portion of their pay in Bitcoin.
HUMAN Protocol supports the creation of secure, decentralised job markets at scale. It connects global Workers to global opportunity, and provides organisations access to diverse workforces.
This being a core reason why DigitalX has such a large holding of HMT – A$12.2 million, as of year-end.
“This shift from customer-focused to community-focused is so crucial to building a better and fairer world, how we act now will shape the future.”
DigitalX has also moved some of its traditional cash reserves into a stablecoin called XAUD, which is pegged to the Australian dollar.
“To me, that’s really interesting and something we’re doing that’s pioneering,” Wade says.
Investing in these sorts of things as a publicly listed company hasn’t always been easy, though. DigitalX works closely with ASX to ensure its digital assets are fully disclosed according to traditional accounting standards, in a transparent manner.
“There is a new world coming,” Wade says.
“You know, at times it’s been difficult to do the work – however, we’ve done the work now. You need to be able to manage this, and that’s what corporate Australia needs to be really looking at — am I going to miss sales or miss deals because people are conducting business in web 3.0?
“Because it’s all happening. It’s just (a question of) whether it’s happening with or without our existing business leaders.”