Special Report: Stockhead sat down with Jonathon Miller, the managing director for Australia of global digital asset exchange Kraken, to bring it back to basics and talk about how everyday retail investors can get exposure to digital assets.

Australian investors looking at building their portfolios may be interested in buying cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is often associated with Bitcoin, the largest digital asset by market cap, which has defied expectations this week as it surged to a three-year all-time high.

Yet there are a growing number of other cryptocurrencies available to Australians, providing investors with the opportunity to add a diverse range of digital assets to their portfolios.

Buying and selling cryptocurrency is wrongly believed to be far too complex for the everyday investor who may have never traded before, or who are only dipping their toes into digital currencies for the first time.

But this is exactly who crypto exchange Kraken, which officially launched in Australia earlier this year with AUD funding pairs, sees as their target audience. According to Jonathon Miller, Kraken’s managing director for Australia, Kraken’s mission is to help democratise access to investing and assist the needs of first-time investors.

For new investors looking to deal with digital assets, Miller said there was no better time to take a greater active interest, particularly given the strong performance assets like Bitcoin have had – both historically and even just over the past 12 months.

What are cryptocurrencies?
A cryptocurrency is a code-based digital or virtual currency, secured by cryptography that makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Unlike existing currencies, such as the USD, cryptocurrencies function completely outside of traditional banking and government systems, making them particularly valuable for investors

What do you need to begin with to invest in Australia?
Start by visiting a trusted, high-liquidity cryptocurrency exchange suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.

For Australian investors starting to build their portfolio, create an exchange account and then choose from the multiple funding options to deposit AUD, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA, Osko, PayID, Ethana Custody or Wire Transfer.

Once investors have funded their accounts, they are able to instantly buy any crypto with an AUD, or other fiat currency, trading pair.
The first currency in a pair represents the base currency while the second represents the quote currency. When buying, investors will pay the quote currency, and receive the base currency. When selling, investors sell the base currency and receive the quote currency.

Investors will be able to submit their orders and wait for execution to see whether the exchange has been approved.

What fiat currencies can Aussies trade for crypto?
Fiat currencies consist of the deposit options such as fees, minimum spend, trading options and processing times. In Australia, there are a range of currencies that can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies on Kraken, including USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF and, of course, AUD.

What are the different kinds of crypto assets on offer to Aussie investors?
Exchanges such as Kraken give you access to leading crypto assets including BTC, ETH, XPR, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, and USDT.

Which ones have a strong track record historically?
Historically, BTC, ETH, BCH and XRP have the strongest track record and are the safest starting point for new Aussie investors.

Ripple (XRP) aims to complement traditional payments, migrating international transactions that currently take place on systems controlled by financial institutions to a more open infrastructure. XRP has also sparked continuing discussion about how blockchains can be designed and the use cases they should attempt to address.

Bitcoin (BTC) is the world’s oldest, and most widely traded, cryptocurrency. Bitcoin enables software users to create and manage a digital money supply that remains outside the control of any government or bank.

Ethereum (ETH) decentralises products and services in a wide range of use cases beyond money. It uses its cryptocurrency, known as Ether, so users can create and fund any number of custom assets and programs governing their operation.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) intends to offer an alternative to Bitcoin (BTC). It was originally part of Bitcoin until 2017, when a group of developers with a different vision for Bitcoin split off to form their own distinct ecosystem.


This story was developed in collaboration with Kraken, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.