Australian ETFs Queue Up For Listing Despite Past Tepid Response

By Ben Knight January 11, 2024 In Australia, ETF, SEC
Everyone’s talking about a Bitcoin ETF. Source: Shutterstock
  • Aussie crypto ETFs on the ASX are ready to roll, with Monochrome’s listing set to come first.
  • Betashares, another prominent asset manager, are set to join the fray with “1BTC” ETF in the pipeline.
  • Early Aussie ETFs, released in 2022, were met with a lukewarm response amid the market crash spurred by the Terra collapse.

As the Securities and Exchange Commission approves Bitcoin spot ETFs for the first time, it’s time to revisit the place of crypto-based funds in the Australian market. The Australian Securities Exchange has long adopted a tough approach to cryptocurrency, but that hasn’t stopped issuers from lining up to release their products in light of the SEC’s landmark decision.

Monochrome Asset Management First Cab Off the Rank

The Brisbane-located institution Monochrome Asset Management appears to be the first local product set for release on the ASX, after initially applying in July last year. Interestingly, the ASX were willing to allow such a product as long as it traded at a margin of 40% to cover Bitcoin’s well-documented swings in price. 

In response to the news coming from the United States, the ASX remained committed to the current regulatory requirements for crypto ETFs.

The issuance of Bitcoin ETFs by more issuers in Australia, following developments in the US, will not by itself lead to any change in the approach to setting margins for Bitcoin ETFs, or in the margin levels themselves.

ASX statement

Prominent Australian asset managers Betashares have also demonstrated their interest in releasing a Bitcoin ETF (ticker 1BTC), which has been in the works since late 2021. Betashares are indirectly already in the crypto ETF game, having released a fund that holds several major players like Coinbase and Microstrategy.


Poor Past ETF Performance Likely Due to Market Conditions

All the focus on the United State’s decision may have muddied the fact Australian investors already had access to a spot Bitcoin ETF. The second-biggest Aussie market, CBOE Australia, launched two ETFs in early 2022 (Global X and Cosmos Asset Management). 

Unlike the hype around the SEC’s offerings, these two funds were met with mediocre interest. The Global X offering (21Shares Bitcoin ETF) still trades on the market, yet only has around AUD $40 million under management – a far cry from the billion-dollar estimates expected for U.S. products. And Cosmos’ fund – invested in BTC miners – performed so poorly it was eventually delisted.

However, it’s worth acknowledging the market conditions between now and then are vastly different. The ETFs were released just months prior to the collapse of Terra, a billion-dollar calamity that sent shockwaves through the crypto market. In 2024, with the price of Bitcoin rallying and a halving event set to increase institutional interest, the crypto environment is far more bullish.   

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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