New Listing

First crypto ETFs to launch in Australia on Thursday

Offering exposure to bitcoin and ethereum

Sumit Roy

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Australia’s first cryptocurrency ETFs are set to launch on Thursday, giving investors in the country access to bitcoin and ethereum.

The ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC), the ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF (EETH) and the Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF (CBTC) will list on Cboe Australia on 12 May after routine delays prevented them from launching in April.

At the time, Cboe Australia said “standard checks” were still being completed which precluded the crypto ETFs from launching. With everything now sorted away, the ETFs have the green light to begin trading later this week.

The ETFs are expected to attract strong interest from investors, just as the first crypto ETFs in Canada and the US did last year. Canadian investors were treated to spot bitcoin and ether funds while US investors had to settle for futures-based bitcoin ETFs due to reluctance on the part of the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow a spot ETF to trade.

Australia is following Canada’s path by jumping directly to spot ETFs, which are seen as superior products with much less tracking error than futures-based funds.

CBTC’s spot exposure from Cosmos Asset Management is achieved somewhat indirectly through its holdings of the $1bn Canadian Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the largest bitcoin ETF in Canada. Coins owned by the Purpose Bitcoin ETF are held in cold storage by the Gemini Trust Company.

EBTC and EETH, which is the result of a partnership between 21Shares and ETF Securities, get their crypto exposure a bit more directly by removing one layer of intermediation. Instead of buying another ETF, they buy actual cryptocurrencies which are held in cold storage by Coinbase.

Commenting on the launch, Hany Rashwan, co-founder and CEO of 21Shares, said: “Australian investors clearly want and deserve an affordable, easy, and professional way to access the growing crypto asset class and we are delighted to continue building accessible bridges into the crypto world.

“We are starting with bitcoin and ethereum but have even more exciting plans for Australian investors.”

This story was originally published

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