In one sense, the world of crypto seems like a perfect sponsorship, ahem, vehicle for F1. And yes, that one sense we refer to is speed.

Okay, it’s a bit tenuous but the pace of ever-changing crypto narratives, not to mention the asset class’s price volatility, is pretty breathtaking at times. Also, like Formula 1, it’s a high-tech, high-risk, potentially high-reward space.

Where are we going with this? Towards a couple of related news items – involving Williams and Kraken, and OKX and McLaren. We should note, first up, though, that F1 and crypto are not new teammates.

The past couple of years were big years for Formula 1 crypto partnerships. Some, though, have hit the wall or gone up in flames since the FTX exchange imploded amid multiple charges of fraud, corruption and complete and utter incompetence.

That includes the Mercedes-AMG Petronas FTX deal. Ferarri, too, has also since ended its arrangement with blockchain firm Velas, and Tezos called time on its Red Bull Racing collab.

However, McLaren has since struck up deals with OKX (and Tezos, too), Alpine is in with Binance and Red Bull Racing now rolls with Bybit. Oh, and holds the major naming rights for the Miami Grand Prix.

But as for this week’s latest… let’s start locally, with OKX, which has announced it’s set to launch a local edition of its global exchange Down Under.


OKX’s Aussie launch and McLaren F1 tie-in

Timing its announcement on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, OKX, the second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has revealed plans to open an office in Australia in the coming months.

The reveal was made on Wednesday evening at a crypto-community event at the Melbourne Arts Centre,  attended by OKX “ambassadors” Daniel Ricciardo and pro-snowboarder/Olympian Scotty James.

Ricciardo was cut by McLaren late last year and is now in a “third driver” role for the Red Bull Racing team. 

The McLaren F1 Team car, meanwhile, is sponsored by OKX and will be driven by Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

Regarding OKX’s move into the Australian crypto exchange market, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer Haider Rafique said: “Our ambition is straightforward – to become the leading crypto platform in the world.

“We see Australia as an indispensable part of this strategy and a key growth market. With such a strong uptake of crypto in Australia already, we’re committed to the local market and aim to build a strong local office.”


Williams hits the track with Kraken

Meanwhile, the Kraken crypto exchange, which was founded in San Francisco some 11 years ago and has also been operating in Australia for nearly three years, has unveiled a partnership with English F1 team Williams Racing.

The Kraken logo will appear prominently on the halo and rear wing of the Williams Racing’s FW45 race car driven by Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant in the Australian Grand Prix, which begins today.

The branding will also appear on the drivers’ suits and caps for the remainder of the F1 World Championship season.

Selected users of Kraken’s NFT marketplace will also be able to have their owned NFT artwork appear on the rear wing of Williams’ race cars during Grand Prix events. These artworks could, for instance, include certain Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women NFT images.

“This partnership will enable us to engage with both Kraken’s and William’s global communities and showcase the impact and life-changing potential of Crypto and Web3,” said Mayur Gupta, Kraken’s Chief Marketing Officer.