Under the Radar: Australia’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Launch Precedes US
Australia Has Had a Spot Bitcoin ETF for a While
While Australian investors had previous exposure to Spot Bitcoin ETFs, they had so far not been traded on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) but on Cboe Australia (Chicago Board Options Exchange) – Cboe was formerly known as Chi-X Australia. Both exchanges are under regulatory oversight of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and are a good option for investors. However, the ASX has a larger market share and can often provide investors with more options.
Among the hype in the US around the Spot Bitcoin ETF approvals some may have missed that the Cboe had already listed such products for the local market. Global X lists its 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (Cboe: EBTC) and Global X 21Shares Ethereum ETF (Cboe: EETH) on the exchange, while Cosmos Asset Management, delisted its fund in late 2022 after a chilly reception.
Over in the United States, the first trading day saw several billion dollars being traded in the US ETFs. In Australia, EBTC meanwhile – physically backed 100% by BTC – has only AUD $36.5 million assets under management and the EETH AUD $9.8 million. Interestingly, the fees for both products are at 1.25% – a far cry from the discounted products US consumers now have access to.
Fee’s Biggest Differentiator for Spot Bitcoin ETF
US ETFs, fuelled by competition, have low fees ranging between zero and 0.9% initially for a period of several months, and then between 0.2% and 0.9%, with Grayscale’s GBTC having the highest fees, at 1.5%.
It will be interesting to see if the increased interest in Bitcoin ETFs and the talks about upcoming Spot Ethereum ETFs will help revive interest in the Cboe ETFs, as they were introduced during a time of market turmoil.
Meanwhile, Australian investors likely welcome a bit of competition which may bring fees down a little. As The Australian Financial Review reports there could be two more entrants in the local market, with the ASX likely to give the green light to Monochrome Assets Management, a Brisbane-based firm for a Spot Bitcoin ETF and also Betashares preparing an ASX listing. At the same time CommSec is apparently looking into enabling Australians to trade US ETFs. CommSec did not immediately respond to requests for comment.