Brisbane-Based ‘Monochrome’ Gets Approval for Spot-Based ETF  

By Jody McDonald August 19, 2022 In Australia, ETFs, Investing, Regulation

A Brisbane asset management company will offer spot-based crypto exchange traded funds (ETFs), becoming the first to be authorised under an Australian financial services licence (AFSL).

Monochrome Asset Management announced on August 15 that it had gained approval from financial services regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to operate spot-based crypto ETFs under an AFSL. 

The approval opens the door for retail investors to benefit from fully regulated and direct insured exposure to crypto assets, including Bitcoin and Ether. The funds will be headlined by the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (ticker code: IBTC).

To date, no crypto asset ETFs operate under an AFSL with a crypto-asset authorisation. ASIC’s decision to provide this AFSL authorisation opens new regulated investment opportunities for direct retail investors and through licensed financial advisers.

Monochrome Asset Management

ASIC Approval Offers Regulated Crypto Investing

Monochrome’s spot-based crypto ETFs are not the first launched in Australia – that honour went to ETF products established by Sydney-based Cosmos Asset Management in May, followed closely by 3iQ’s launch of a Bitcoin and Ethereum feeder ETF in June. 

However, Monochrome being the first to operate an ETF under an AFSL – a licence issued by ASIC that’s required to run a financial services business – could be a key differentiator for investors seeking trustworthy advice and investment vehicles.

Monochrome CEO Jeff Yew said that in addition to meeting market demand, its ETF would give crypto investors the protection of a “much higher degree of regulation”.

The regulator’s approval of this licence variation represents a major step forward for both the advice industry and retail investors, allowing advisers to meet the market demands of their clients when it comes to the nascent crypto-asset class. 

Jeff Yew, CEO, Monochrome Asset Management

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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