Dust off your distributed ledgers, HODL on to your hoodies and throw your Doge a bone, because we have a crypto-related story – there’s a brand new exchange in town.

That exchange (and ‘web3 technology company’) is the growing, global entity OKX, and that town is Sydney, Australia.

A press/PR launch yesterday at the classy Yallamundi Rooms venue at the Opera House confirmed OKX is indeed now open for business in Australia.

It swans (it was the Opera House) into a crowded Aussie exchange market that already includes Coinbase, Bitget, BTC Markets, Independent Reserve, Kraken, Binance, CoinSpot, CoinJar and Swyftx among others.


OKX is on a mission of global expansion

The official launch comes after OKX established a Sydney office roughly a year ago to help it get a further foothold in the Asia-Pacific region – ‘a key strategic market’, noted the company’s president Hong Fang at the Opera House launch.

And this continues the exchange’s global expansion beyond Singapore and other parts of Asia with moves into Argentina, Brazil and Turkey also turning heads of late.

In March, OKX also received In-Principle Approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license in Singapore and received its Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license in Dubai in January.


Regulatory clarity remains as crucial as ever

On a small panel addressing journalists and PR entities at the launch, Fang, OKX Australia general manager Jamie Kennedy and the head of peak industry body Blockchain Australia, Simon Callaghan, alluded to the fact that regulatory clarity is crucial for the crypto industry in Australia.

Yep, that old chestnut. Regularity clarity for the crypto industry in Australia is a work now a handful of years in progress, and while it still seems frustratingly just out of reach to the casual crypto-trained eye, the OKX execs cited Australia’s regulatory engagement on the whole as “a positive sign”.

“It’s something that obviously the likes of Blockchain Australia has been working on for quite some time,” Kennedy told Stockhead. “And we’ve been working with BA and will continue to engage in the regulatory discussion as it’s important this industry comes together with one voice.”

From left: OKX Australia GM Jamie Kennedy, OKX president Hong Fang, Blockchain Australia CEO Simon Callaghan.


The post-halving launch timing is ‘a happy coincidence’

So what does OKX bring to the table? We’ll get to that after the very next subhead, but first let us emphasise that, even if it’s not actually a whole lot that you haven’t seen before from other exchanges, this move at this time provides further impetus to the idea that the crypto market is gearing up for a big and bullish move in H2.

That’s an idea permeating around crypto-positive circles, largely based on the historical performance of the crypto market post Bitcoin ‘halving’, which is a baked-in machination in the Bitcoin protocol that effectively permanently reduces the issuance of BTC supply and happens once every four years.

Yes, past performance is no guarantee of future Lambos, but Bitcoin and the wider crypto market has, on all prior three such halving instances, pulled an Apollo 11 some three or four months later.

Stockhead asked Kennedy about the timing of the launch and whether it was strategically timed to capitalise on a potential bull market.

The OKX Australia GM answered: “It’s more a happy coincidence. Our focus is not necessarily what’s happening in the market at any given time.

“The timing is more based around waiting till we had everything set up properly here and with the right people in place. And we’ve put a lot of focus on that, making sure we’ve adhered to matters of local compliance, as well as putting in place the best security to give peace of mind to our users.”


So what is OKX bringing to the Aussie crypto scene?

Specifically, OKX Australia enters with certainly a large array of crypto trading pair options – 170 crypto spot pairs and 85 tokens to be precise – for spot (buy and sell) trading for all users and derivatives (futures, options and perpetual swaps) trading for “verified wholesale clients”.

The exchange notes it’s now “the largest global crypto exchange offering direct AUD deposits and withdrawals to Australian users”.

The firm’s OTC (over the counter) spot trading services, by the way, are available via OKX Australia, which is a locally incorporated company registered with AUSTRAC.

What else? OKX is proud of its security measures, as well as noting it was among the first exchanges globally to publish monthly ‘Proof of Reserves’, which is a system that aims to prove full validation of the firm’s backing of users’ funds held on the platform.

“Using open-source verification tools, users can independently confirm that their assets are backed by OKX reserves,” says the company.

Other points of note:

• OKX facilitates a self-custody crypto wallet, called the OKX Wallet, which helps gives users full ownership of their crypto assets and private keys.

• OKX, in true crypto exchange fashion, has partnered with some notable sporting entities, including: Manchester City FC, the McLaren F1 team, and Aussie snowboarding Olympian Scotty James.