Crypto-stock trade pairs in the cards as Swyftx inks $1.5B merger with Superhero

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx wants to eventually offer seamless trading between traditional and crypto-asset classes, with its first step being the completion of its $1.5 billion merger deal with online investing platform Superhero. 

The deal to combine the two was revealed on June 8, with the merged entity set to become the first in Australia to offer both decentralized and traditional finance.

Speaking to Cointelegraph on Wednesday, Swyftx co-CEO Ryan Parsons revealed that one of its longer-term goals is to explore “greater interoperability between asset classes.”

“You can imagine customers trading their Bitcoin or other digital assets for equities in listed companies like Tesla, and vice versa.”

Parsons said that its first priority will be to work with regulators and set up appropriate customer protections:

“But it’s important to be clear that we’re working through all the regulatory requirements in what is already a quickly evolving regulatory landscape. We’re extremely keen to ensure that whatever we do, is done properly with appropriate customer protections in place.”

Related: Aussie consumer group calls for better crypto regs due to ‘lagging laws’

While the merger news appeared to come without any prior warning, Parsons said it was “no surprise” that a number of equity trading platforms have been looking to offer crypto trading and vice versa, and that discussions with Superhero about a merger had been underway for several months prior:

“The two teams have been actively talking for a few months, with the merger following out of initial discussions around the potential for a crypto-equities partnership opportunity. It just made more sense to join forces than to be partners.”

Co-founded by Alex Harper and Angus Goldman in 2018, Swyftx is an Australian crypto exchange, offering 320 digital currencies and crypto interest-earning products. The company’s exchange saw a banner year in 2021, growing its investor base by nearly 1,200% to over 600,000 retail and corporate investors.

Superhero, an online broker, was founded in the same year, but launched only in late 2020. Over the last 12 months, the company has grown its investor base by more than 600% to over 200,000 investors, allowing them to trade Australian and U.S. stocks, as well as manage their Superhero superannuation (Australia’s version of 401K) a product launched in July 2021.

In a statement on June 8, Swyftx said the completed merger would create a combined customer base of 800,000 when it’s completed around mid-2023.

The combined platform will allow customers to trade and invest across cryptocurrencies, equities and superannuation. Later, Parisons said the company wants to build out its product offerings, which could include banking-type services or other traditional finance products and services.

Following the merger, Swyftx co-founder Alex Harper and current Swyftx CEO Ryan Parsons will become co-CEOs of the combined entity. John Winters will head up the traditional financial services arm and take a position on the board of directors.

Winters told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday evening that there was a possibility of listing the combined entity on the Australian stock exchange once the merger is tied off, but said there would be “a lot of work to be done before we get to that stage.”

Winters stated that, for the time being, the two platforms will continue to operate independently of each other, and no job losses are expected as part of the merger.

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