Leading cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve has today announced a piece of news that could increase the flow of institutional capital to Bitcoin and other digital assets.
In an Australian first, the fast-growing exchange says it is offering insurance coverage to its clients, which will be underwritten by the world’s leading insurance provider Lloyd’s of London.
Independent Reserve says the insurance policy insures against theft or loss of any cryptocurrency that is held in a client’s trading account, but does not cover any losses resulting from market volatility or unauthorised access to trading accounts.
That means it would not include, for example, the loss of Bitcoin from the hacking of an individual account or identity fraud.
Adrian Przelozny, the CEO and founder of Independent Reserve, says it’s a major deal for his company and for the development of cryptocurrencies.
“Institutions in Australia and overseas are cautious with regards to investing in cryptocurrencies and issues relating to regulation, price volatility and security are explored in depth,” Mr Prezelozny said.
“Insurance is the next logical step for our exchange in this fast-maturing industry.
“Our new insurance offering will bring new, meaningful and institutional capital into digital assets that was once sidelined.
“The Lloyds-underwritten policy is an addition to the multiple layers of security Independent Reserve has been using to protect digital assets for 100,000 customers over the past five years.”
Independent Reserve says that in the event of an incident, its customers will be compensated for any loss in their Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency holdings at the time of the incident.
“The acceptance of this policy by the largest insurer in the world is a vote of confidence in our corporate governance, robust risk management and security protocols and a sign of their commitment to working with only the highest quality partners,” Mr Przelozny said.
Founded in 2013, Independent Reserve claims to have built a proprietary, institutional grade trading platform to allow Australians to buy, sell and invest in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and other digital currencies.
It currently has over 100,000 customers across Australia and New Zealand, and services around 8,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs).
The cryptocurrency exchange says it has also been working closely with various Australian regulatory bodies including AUSTRAC to formulate AML/CTF regulatory frameworks for the industry.
“Australian finance industry heavyweights Mike Tilley (ex -CEO of Challenger Financial and Chairman of Latitude Financial), Martin Rogers (KTM Ventures) and Steve James (Seer Asset Management) are investors and board members of Independent Reserve,” the company said.
Independent Reserve, has previously announced the launch of a Blockchain Innovation Hub in Sydney.
Known as ‘IR ventures,’ the 280 square metre site will be home to the likes of the Australian Digital Commerce Association, and social enterprise blockchain company Genereos.
Mr Przelozny, said the launch demonstrated his company’s commitment to helping nurture the next wave of blockchain startups in Australia.
“When we founded Independent Reserve in 2013, the blockchain ecosystem in Australia was non-existent,” Mr Przelozny said.
“We knew something had to change. We had a vision of helping accelerate blockchain innovation in Australia.” M