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How crypto traders want to break down the walls of Wall St

Business

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are more than a financial investment, they are a way for Millennials to break down the walls of Wall Street, one of the authors of academic study has found.

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A senior lecturer at the University of Queensland Business School Dr Christoph Breidbach, co-authored a paper which showed that a new culture was developing behind cryptocurrencies.

“We have also shown how they shape the market as well as legislation,’’ Breidbach told In Queensland.

“These are everyday Australians, retirees, students academics who are small in number and comparatively poor. It’s almost like we have a David and Goliath type scenario and very similar to what we saw in America with GameStop.

“New apps like Robinhood and cryptocurrencies are fundamentally changing the face of finance.

“The fundamental shift is that it is a democratisation of financial services.

“If you think about it, a lot of them are millennials so folks who are now in their 20s and they were teenagers when the global financial crisis hit.

“What they have learned is that education being a stable pathway to a career … that has gone. Job security, that’s gone. Home ownership, that’s almost unattainable if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne.

“So those folks really view Wall St as the evil and they are doing their own thing and crypto currencies are the vehicle through which they can do their own thing.

“That’s something the institutions don’t understand, they are creating their own reality.’’

Breidbach said there were four different groups in the crypto community. They started with the novice freshmen who were often tutored by idealists. Then there were the entrepreneurial trail blazers and then the fortune hunters.

“Fortune hunters … focused on expanding the impact and relevance of cryptocurrencies in society more broadly. As a case in point, a group of fortune hunters that we studied actively contributed to the alteration of taxation laws, with the intention to make cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings more profitable,’’ Breidbach wrote in his research paper.

Breidbach studied the crypto scene in Melbourne were he said groups met openly at the State Library of Victoria, but social media was where they made contact and Instagram had “a plethora of crypto currency influencers who post sorts of information ranging from the different terminologies’’ to investment advice.

He said a distinct difference with traditional investment was that there was no one at the centre pulling strings.

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