Crypto platform CoinSpot has managed to double its user base in a little over six months, as surging prices lure millions of Australians into the crypto market.
Booming interest in digital assets is palpable, with website activity increasing seven-fold this year, according to CoinSpot.
“In 2021, we’ve certainly seen a dynamic shift when it comes to Australia’s crypto appetite,” founder Russell Wilson said.
In a broader sense, it also demonstrates a maturing of the market, which has been increasingly recognised by institutional and SMSF investors in recent months.
It has equally welcomed the entry of decentralised finance (DeFi) applications, which aim to use the blockchain to cut out traditional monetary intermediaries, as well as the explosion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into the art world.
It has seen a key demographic change among crypto investors. Separate data shows around one in three Australian traders are now female, while almost one in four live outside a capital city.
One fifth are over the age of 35, but young Australians continue to drive the market, with the number of Gen Z and Millennial investors doubling since November.
The widespread interest in the crypto market is reflected in the exchange’s own journey. Founded in 2013 when crypto was relatively unknown, CoinSpot is now a sponsor of AFL team the Western Bulldogs replacing legacy car brand Mercedes-Benz, while its website became the 19th most-trafficked in the country.
Since late last year, the total crypto market has swelled from less than $US300 billion to around $US2 trillion, with price growth begetting user growth and vice-versa.
Yet despite the enormous sums of money being traded on exchange – not to mention long-running warnings of a bubble – Wilson maintains it is still early days.
“As crypto is still in its infancy in Australia and barriers to entry are continuing to be removed almost every day, the greater the access we can provide to this technology the bigger the opportunities there will be for Australian consumers into the future.”
Dogecoin, the people’s coin
While Bitcoin remains the most-traded coin among users, Wilson said the explosion of Dogecoin this year, ignited by a series of Elon Musk tweets championing it, had seen the meme coin take out second place.
The difference between growth rates for the coins is remarkable. CoinSpot says trading activity for Dogecoin is up 3840% year-to-date, compared to the 190% increase for Bitcoin.
Known colloquially as ‘The People’s Coin’, Doge’s volatile trading price and surge since May has appealed to many Australians looking to make a quick buck.
Separate Reddit data provided to Business Insider Australia shows just how much the meme coin has exploded into the public consciousness. The r/Dogecoin subreddit owns every single one of the top 10 crypto posts in Australia based on upvotes.
Similarly, it was the second-most-viewed subreddit related to cryptocurrency, beating out other coins like Bitcoin, Cardano, XRP and Ethereum, as well as the catch-all r/cryptomoonshots.
In fact, Doge was only beaten out by r/cryptocurrency, which boasts 1.3 million more members.
Reflecting trading trends, Reddit says Dogecoin has enjoyed a 1,200% increase in subscribes versus 110% for Bitcoin and a little shy of 200% for cryptocurrency more generally. Stories of Dogecoin millionaires have only helped fan those flames.
Yet with the price of the people’s coin currently sitting at just one-third of its May peak, it has burned many as well.