Australia could get its own cryptobank within the next 18 months. That is at least the plan of Fred Schebesta, one of the country’s youngest self-made millionaires. The new bank would be the first of its kind for the Australian continent.
While heated discussions about the ups and downs of Bitcoin and its associates continue in Germany, it is easier to keep a cool head in the southern hemisphere. Fred Schebesta, a 26-year-old entrepreneurial talent and co-founder of the comparison portal Finder.com, is not impressed by the much-quoted talk of a “crypto bubble”:
“People were talking about a bubble when the Bitcoin rate was 10 US dollars, 100 US dollars, 1,000 US dollars. After the $100 mark, it fell to about $12, which is significantly lower than its fall from $20,000 to $6,000,” Schebesta said,
Schebesta told the Australian news website news.com.au. His crypto-optmism is reflected in a new “billion dollar project”: he wants to found Australia’s first cryptobank.
Interest is booming
Just because the Bitcoin course has fallen after its record high and people have been upset is not to be confused with a dwindling interest in crypto currencies. Quite the opposite:
“Interest is booming. I was at Consensus in New York, along with 8,000 others. […] New technologies are being developed, it’s like the transition from Basic to DOS. Bitcoin is like gold, it will just lie around, do its thing and keep running. I don’t think Bitcoin will die.”
As adaptation grows, so does the demand for financial services for crypto currency owners, Schebesta continues. To move one step closer to his vision of an Australian crypto bank, Schebesta says it has bought “significant” shares in the Western Australian bank Goldfields Money. As an “Authorised Deposit taking Institution” (ADI), the bank is subject to the Australian financial supervisory authority APRA. By working with Goldfields, Schebesta wants to save itself the trouble of applying for an ADI licence from APRA. That the bank, with a market capitalisation of 35 million Australian dollars, is one of the small fish – a gift:
“It’s a small business, but a bank – and the only bank in Western Australia with an ADI license,
Schebesta continued. In addition, the example of Deutsche Bank shows that size and profit do not always have to be proportionate:
“Deutsche Bank has 98,720 employees. It made a profit of USD 146 million in the first quarter. Binance, on the other hand, had 300 employees and made a profit of USD 200 million in the same period. Something is going on here.”
Schebesta is focusing above all on the potential business with crypto loans. After all, lending money is the backbone of the fiat economy. Loans for crypto currencies would take them “to a whole new level”.
No newcomer to cryptospace
Even before the announcement of plans for a cryptobank, Schebesta had his fingers in the digital money business. The portal finder.com, founded by him and Frank Restuccia, also makes it possible to compare crypto currencies. In addition, together with his colleague Restuccia, he operates his own crypto exchange called HiveEx, whose weekly transaction volume is expected to be in the million dollar range. With HiveSpend, a service for the settlement of BPAY invoices followed.