March 20, 2018
Australia’s Digital Currency Market Expanding, Accenture and Australian Digital Commerce Association Research Reveals
More than AU$3.9 billion in cryptocurrencies traded in 2017 by more than 300,000 traders in participating exchanges
SYDNEY; March 20, 2018 – Australia’s digital currency market reached new levels in 2017, with significant gains in trading value and volumes, according to a joint research project by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and ADCA (Australian Digital Commerce Association) that showed activity levels, transactional values and trader demographics in the country for the first time.
The research reveals that participating digital currency exchanges (DCEs) in Australia traded more than AU$3.9 billion in cryptocurrencies last year, comprising more than 2.7 million individual transactions from more than 300,000 registered customers, the vast majority of whom were male and under the age of 40. The most popular currency traded last year was Bitcoin (BTC), accounting for AU$1.86 billion in volume, followed by Ethereum at AU$712 million.
These new insights were gathered from confidential organizational and operational data from seven Australian DCEs that represent an estimated 66 percent of the digital currency market. The research also found that associated employment across the industry is rising rapidly, with the average number of employees per DCE almost quadrupling during 2017.
The results come amid expectations of more widespread use of blockchain technology, which underpins digital currencies, within and beyond the financial industry as businesses look for ways to optimize performance and increase trust in digital transactions.
“As our research clearly shows, cryptocurrencies are making waves globally and here in Australia,” said Arjan Bloemer, a managing director at Accenture who leads the company’s Financial Services Technology Advisory practice in Australia and New Zealand. “The technology behind them can change many aspects of our current financial system, and we believe that central banks and financial institutions can play a key role in shaping this landscape by establishing a strong foundation for the use of cryptocurrencies, ensuring economic growth and consumer protection and supporting the adoption of progressive approaches to currency control and use.”
Nicholas Giurietto, CEO & managing director of  the Australian Digital Commerce Association, said, “These results demonstrate that Australians are enthusiastically participating in the market for digital currencies. 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. 
Australians trading in digital currencies should be encouraged to do so using ADCA-certified exchanges based in Australia, where strong consumer safeguards apply.” 
Key Findings
Trading Activity:
  • The total value of trading activity (transactions buying and selling cryptocurrencies) across the participating DCEs totaled AU$3.9 billion in 2017. 
  • The seven participating Australian DCEs processed more than 2.7 million cryptocurrency transactions in 2017. 
  • The largest individual transaction by any exchange was worth AU$500,000.
  • The average trade value was AU$1,430. 
  • The month of December 2017 alone accounted for 59 percent of the total value, and 48 percent of the total number of transactions, of all trading activity recorded by participants for the whole of 2017.
Customer Demographics:
  • There were 312,633 unique customers in total registered across all seven DCEs at the end of 2017.
  • The seven exchanges have an average of 44,662 unique customers registered.
  • The majority of digital currency customers are male and under the age of 40.
  • On average, 40 percent of DCE customers are aged 18 to 29, 31 percent are aged 30 to 39, 18 percent are aged 40 to 49, and just 11 percent are 50 or older.
  • Some 83 percent of DCE customers are male.
  • The average number of full-time employees (FTEs) at participating DCEs nearly quadrupled in 2017, from 2.9 FTEs in January 2017to 11.3 FTEs by December 2017.
  • DCEs expect to have 25.7 FTEs, on average, by the end of 2018, with the largest DCE projected to employ 40 FTEs.
Trading Currencies:
  • All seven DCEs trade Bitcoin (BTC), with approximately AU$1.864 billion traded in 2017.
  • Six out of seven DCEs trade Ethereum (ETH), with about AU$712 million traded in 2017.
  • Three DCEs trade Litecoin (LTC), with approximately AU$330 million traded in 2017.
  • Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are each traded by two exchanges, with approximately AU$566 million and AU$374 million of each currency, respectively, traded in 2017.
With digital currencies rapidly becoming more mainstream in Australia, they are increasingly used in a broad set of financial applications, spanning commercial transactions, short-term trading and long-term investments. 
In Australia, DCEs will be regulated by AUSTRAC beginning April 3, 2018. This will require mandatory registration and compliance obligations. Several of Australia’s leading digital currency exchanges already comply with the regulations, but this first government regulation is a key step that will lead to greater integration with wider financial services in Australia, including institutional services for asset managers, traders and hedge funds. 
The information in this presentation represents the aggregated data from seven Australian digital currency exchanges (DCEs). The data was collected in response to a quantitative questionnaire jointly issued by Accenture and ADCA. The seven participating DCEs are all members of ADCA. The survey questionnaire requested commercially sensitive data. Longitude, the research partner for the project, acted as an independent data custodian under non-disclosure agreements with the exchanges. Participants completed the survey and uploaded responses directly to Longitude. Data from individual DCEs was consolidated (summed or averaged) to protect the confidentiality of participants and to approximate the scale of the Australian market. Neither Accenture nor ADCA received the individual submissions or any data from individual DCEs. Date fielded: 21 January 2018 to 9 February 2018 (data requested as at 31 December 2017) Participants: Seven Australian digital currency exchanges, representing approximately 66 percent of the Australian digital currency market.
About Accenture 
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 435,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at
About ADCA
The Australian Digital Commerce Association is the industry network for businesses implementing blockchain solutions. ADCA members work together to build understanding of the potential of blockchain technology, share best practice and engage with government and regulatory stakeholders. More information here:
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Victoria Ancell
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Disclaimer: The contents of this material are for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as professional advice with respect to your business. Unless otherwise specified herein, the views and/or findings expressed herein are Accenture’s own.