Australia’s First Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs Go Live

May 12, 2022, 5:30 PM AEST - 1 week ago

Today marks a historic day for the Australian investment landscape as retail and institutional investors are now able to invest in the newly launched Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange traded funds (ETFs) listed on Cboe Australia (“Cboe”):

Off the Ground, Despite False Starts

For market participants, the road to Australia’s first spot-based crypto ETF has been a long and, at times, painful journey. Some two weeks ago, regulators gave the green light but within days the launch was delayed due to an issue relating to the prime dealer.

With that out of the way and more ETFs likely on the horizon, Australians now have a choice to invest directly in three ETFs through two providers, becoming only the eighth country to do so.

21 Shares will offer both an ETH and BTC ETF, whereas Cosmos will list only an ETH ETF, at least for now. Each of the ETFs will hold the crypto assets offshore in cold storage, and track the spot price of each in Australian dollars.

The news elicited much excitement, with some indicating that they expected significant capital inflows:

ETF Securities chairman Graham Tuckwell, who earlier criticised regulators for dragging their heels, commented: “Today is an exciting day for our team, a culmination of months of hard work to bring these ETFs to the Australian market. EBTC and EETH are true firsts for Australia, and we are excited to be launching with Cboe Australia.”

ETF Securities head of distribution Kanish Chugh recognised that while current market conditions were not ideal, they did provide a good entry point for new investors:

Australian investor interest in cryptocurrencies has not waned in recent months even as we have seen underperformance, and with Bitcoin’s recent sell-off as well, it may present an opportunity for investors who have been looking for attractive entry points into this new asset class.

Kanish Chugh, head of distribution, ETF Securities

Cboe Australia CEO Vic Jokovic expressed delight at the “breakthrough products”, saying they paved the way for “more Australians to expose their portfolios to cryptocurrency in a regulated manner”.

Although the caveat “not your keys, not your coins” holds true, the listings provide clear evidence of growing mainstream adoption, a trend that is only likely to accelerate.

Zero Chance of BTC Going to Zero

One wonders how local fund managers such as Hamish Douglass have taken the news, particularly since he thinks bitcoin will go to zero. Australian podcaster Mission Bitcoin suggests that those who believe it will be worth zero are simply not paying attention:

Given Bitcoin’s fundamentals and increased role in the global economic landscape, it’s difficult to disagree with that sentiment.

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