Aussie crypto industry ‘keen for regulation’; Synthetix and Illuvium brothers make ‘Young Rich’ list
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Senator Andrew Bragg says Australia’s cryptocurrency founders are embracing newly proposed regulations that could bring “credibility and validity” to the local industry and bring crypto further into the mainstream.
Bragg, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, was addressing the local publication and comparison site Finder on Tuesday. The Liberal senator said that, to his surprise, he’s “never seen an industry so keen for regulation”.
“Almost everyone I’ve spoken to in this industry understood that regulation would bring credibility and validity to this sector that had been cast aside by many as fanciful and illegitimate for its 12 year lifespan,” commented Bragg.
He also acknowledged that the Australian government can “sometimes have trouble catching up to the tech sector”, but that he expects “the crypto report will be addressed quickly and we’ll see reform within 12 months”.
— Senator Andrew Bragg (@ajamesbragg) November 1, 2021
The crypto report Bragg refers to was released last month and put together by the Senate committee with a large amount of consultation and input from leading figures within the local crypto industry. These notably included Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas, leading exchanges such as BTC Markets and CoinJar, and Chloe White, managing director of the policy advisory board Genesis Block.
Like the senator says, the report, which highlighted 12 steps and recommendations towards crypto regulatory clarity, was met with a largely positive response across the crypto industry – and not just in Australia.
The paper proposes key changes to crypto-exchange licensing and capital gains taxation of decentralised finance, as well as introducing new laws for decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and a discount for crypto miners using renewable energy.
The senator also acknowledged Finder’s role in the construction of the report with its clearly understood data pertaining to crypto usage.
“Finder’s submission conveyed a clear message: crypto assets are here to stay,” said Bragg. “It was backed in by similar research from Swyftx/YouGov which said that one in five Australians have owned crypto and the majority are millennials and Gen Zs. They said: ‘The typical Australian crypto owner is now a millennial parent with a child under 18 living at home.'”
Kain Warwick, founder of one of the most prominent OG DeFi projects – Synthetix, has been ranked Australia’s most affluent crypto identity, according to the Australian Financial Review.
The AFR published its 2021 Young Rich list this week – “the definitive list of our best and brightest next generation of entrepreneurs, aged 40 and younger”.
Among the 87 making the cut are seven crypto founders – four of whom have the surname Warwick.
Eldest brother Kain leads the digital-savvy brotherly pack and comes in at no.7 on the list overall, with an estimated net worth of AUD $879 million (US$657 million).
Synthetix (SNX) is a DeFi protocol and token-trading platform built on Ethereum. It allows users to exchange tokenised “synthetic” representations and derivatives of cryptocurrencies, stocks, currencies, precious metals, and other assets in the form of ERC-20 (Ethereum-based) tokens.
The crypto ranks number 85 on the CoinGecko market-cap site, with a total valuation of just over US$2 billion at the time of writing.
The youngest Warwick brother, Kieran, who is the founder of RPG open-world auto-battler game Illuvium (ILV), isn’t too far behind his DeFi-luminary bro on the AFR list, claiming the 22nd spot with an estimated net worth of AUD $463 million (US$346 million).
Kieran founded Illuvium with his other older brothers Aaron (26th, with a net worth of AUD $425 million) and Grant (34th, with AUD $196 million).
After releasing its gameplay-reveal trailer on October 30, Illuvium has been surging in value, with its ILV token up 38 per cent this week, hitting another all-time high just a couple of hours ago: US$1,201.
With crypto bull-run conditions seemingly playing out so far for “Moonvember”, and a current valuation of about US$754 billion, it seems the blockchain-gaming project has a pretty good chance of reaching the fabled $1 billion unicorn status before too long. (It already has if you count it in Aussie dollars.)
— Kieran.eth (@KieranWarwick) October 30, 2021
Speaking with Stockhead about the rankings, Kieran said: “Considering Illuvium’s current price, I’m actually much closer to Kain than the list suggests – I’d be more like eighth! I’d definitely be closer to him now, although he does tend to go up when we go up. We’ve been chatting about it a fair bit today!”
Much competitiveness in the family, then, is there?
“I’m easily the most competitive – in fact, I regularly say it’s a sickness. I think it’s because I’m the youngest, I’ve been at a disadvantage in age, so I’ve had to push so hard.”
Other Aussie crypto stars making the list include two other brothers – Daniel and William Roberts (ranked 19th as a duo) – who founded the sustainable energy-focused Bitcoin-mining firm Iris Energy earlier this year; and Sergei Sergienko (60th), the founder of Chronobank, which uses blockchain to streamline global recruiting and enable crypto payments for workers.