(Australian Associated Press)
Cryptocurrency trading in Australia is dominated by men, with a report from the country’s blockchain industry network showing more than eight out of 10 people buying and selling Bitcoin are male.
Eighty-three per cent of the 312,633 customers registered across seven Australian exchanges at the end of 2017 were male, according to joint research by the Australian Digital Commerce Association and Accenture.
In 12 months, the exchanges processed more than 2.7 million transactions worth a total $A3.9 billion.
But those exchanges represent only about two thirds of the Australian digital currency market, indicating the actual amount being traded by Australians was far higher.
Seventy-one per cent of traders were under 40 years of age, with tech-savvy 18-to-29 year olds the most represented group at 40 per cent.
Customers between 40 and 49 accounted for 18 per cent of the total, with just 11 per cent aged 50 or above.
ADCA chief executive Nicholas Giuretto said the findings showed their was an appetite for digital currencies in Australia, and urged regulators and businesses to improve consumer protections.
“These results demonstrate that Australians are enthusiastically participating in the market for digital currencies,” Mr Giuretto said.
“They show that it is more important than ever for the industry, regulators and banks to work together to further improve standards of security and consumer protection.”
The report by Accenture and the ADCA did not speculate on the reasons why Australians were flocking to crypto trading – or why women were under-represented.
But it did show that 48 per cent of all transactions took place in December, when the total market capitalisation for all cryptocurrencies jumped from about $US330 billion to $US570 billion.
The value of Bitcoin jumped from about $US11,000 to more than $US19,000 in just two weeks in December before declining to its present value of about $US8,500.
Bitcoin, the oldest and best known blockchain-based asset, accounted for about half the value traded on Australian exchanges at $A1.864 billion, with Ethereum at $A712 million and Ripple at $A566 million.