Kim Kardashian is possibly the world’s largest social media influencer with over 330 million Instagram followers, but her attempt at being a ‘finfluencer’ and spruiking crypto currency has seen her clash with US regulators.
This week, Kardashian copped a $2 million fine for promoting crypto currencies without disclosing she had been paid to do so.
Not only will she be fined, but she’ll have to pay back the $250,000 fee for the promotion – with interest – and will be banned from promoting crypto currencies for three years. It’s a small penalty for a woman for a personal wealth of more than $2 billion but it’s more of a statement of principal.
While US regulators celebrate what they see as a victory, the reality is that the Kardashian ban is unlikely to slow the relentless rise of crypto currencies as their popularity continues to grow.
Kardashian’s celebrity status and the demographic which follows her epitomizes the world of crypto. Young people driven by the latest trends are among the most enthusiastic crypto investors, and their interest is unlikely to wane.
According to a survey released this week by crypto currency exchange Swyftx, around one million Australians will enter into the crypto market over the next 12 months, with Millenials and Gen Zers to the fore.
Swytfx’s head of strategic partnerships, Tommy Honan, estimates that based on current growth around half of Australian adults under 50 will own or will have owned crypto within the next one or two years.
Much has been made of the so-called “crypto winter”, where the value of many crypto currencies slumped and left a trail of disaster stories and lost fortunes, but the likelihood is that any winter will be followed by a spring and a new summer.
Regulators in the US and Australia are slowly getting their heads around the idea of crypto, and as they do it will enter the mainstream as an increasingly legitimate asset class. Even the Reserve Bank of Australia is progressing with a trial of a digital Australian dollar.
The normalisation of crypto is likely to take some of the “boom and bust” out of the market but it might re-assure people’s fears. According to US website the Bankless Times, global adoption of Bitcoin as a payments currency will reach 65% globally by 2045.
So, how can investors position themselves right now to take advantage of the next resurgence in the crypto market?
There are a number of crypt exchanges where it is possible to buy and sell a number of crypto currencies.
Along with Swyftx, there is BTC Markets, Bybit and Digital Surge, and these offer guidance for beginners as well as features for seasoned traders.
There may, however, be issues in switching out of digital currencies and back into Australian dollars because the mainstream Australian banks have so far been shy of supporting crypto funds.
Digital neo-bank Volt had an arrangement with BTC Markets where account holders could trade in and out of a normal AUD savings account, but Volt was wound up earlier this year after failing to gain market traction. Others may soon follow that model, which would make using a crypto exchange more attractive for many.
If you fear actually owning crypto but still want exposure to the asset class, then there are a number of Exchange Trade Funds or ETFs available on the Australian market. Head over to the website of Cboe, a rival exchange to the ASX, to see what is listed there.
With the ETF funds, the investment is made in dollars but the performance tracks the performance of a particular crypto or basket of cryptos, and if you want to sell out you redeem your investment in dollars.
It might be a way of getting through the crypto winter and setting yourself up for what many see as the blue sky ahead, even if Kim Kardashian is nowhere to be seen.