Australia Could Witness Approval of Bitcoin ETFs by Year-End

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The largest stock exchange in Australia, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), is poised to approve several spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the end of the year.

According to anonymous sources familiar with the matter speaking to Bloomberg, Bitcoin ETF applications from VanEck Australia and local ETF-focused fund manager BetaShares are likely to receive approval before the year concludes.

Bitcoin ETF Approval in Australia

The surge in spot Bitcoin ETF applications in Australia follows similar approvals in the United States and Hong Kong, where eleven separate products have amassed a total of $53 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Justin Arzadon, head of digital at BetaShares, stated that the significant inflows into US-based products have instilled confidence to launch similar products in Australia, demonstrating that digital assets are here to stay.

A ‘Crypto-Heavy Country’

Jeff Yew, CEO of crypto asset management firm Monochrome, described Australia as a “very crypto-heavy country” and expects Australian spot Bitcoin ETFs to attract between $3 billion to $4 billion in net inflows within the first three years.

Yew highlighted that demand for Bitcoin ETFs would come primarily from fund managers seeking exposure to Bitcoin, as well as from self-managed super fund (SMSF) investors and retail investors.

‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Currently, SMSF investors hold direct exposure to Bitcoin on crypto exchanges, which Yew considers inherently risky. He likened it to a “ticking time bomb” if crypto exchanges were to collapse.

Yew emphasized that Bitcoin ETFs offer these investors heavily-regulated and safer exposure to digital assets.

Monochrome initially applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF with the ASX on July 14 last year but later switched to Cboe Australia, a smaller exchange, due to a slow approval process at the ASX.

Yew stated that Cboe Australia offers a more realistic time frame and a transparent listing framework. Despite challenges with the ASX, Yew expects Cboe Australia to approve Monochrome’s application “within the next few weeks.”

Australia and Cryptocurrencies

The ASX conducted a research in November 2022 revealing that the country is on the path of crypto adoption with the younger generation more keen on investing in the sector and significantly more aware about its use cases.

However, in 2023, the National Australia Bank (NAB) ordered some exchanges to cease trading and provide services to Australians, claiming a significant risk of fraud.

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