Australia Set to Launch Spot Bitcoin ETFs by End of 2024

Key Insights:

  • Australia’s ASX is expected to approve its first spot Bitcoin ETFs by 2024, aligning with global cryptocurrency trends.
  • BetaShares and VanEck lead preparations for new cryptocurrency funds, targeting Australia’s $2.3 trillion pension market.
  • Earlier efforts on CBOE Australia saw limited success, prompting a shift to the larger ASX for better exposure and inflows.

Australia is gearing up for the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs on its main stock exchange by the end of 2024. Van Eck Associates Corp. and BetaShares Holdings Pty are among the key financial players preparing for these launches. According to a report from Bloomberg, which cited the source to remain anonymous, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which handles about 80% of the nation’s equity trading, is expected to approve these products soon.

Justin Arzadon, head of digital assets for BetaShares, highlighted the firm’s readiness, stating, “We have reserved ASX tickers for spot-Bitcoin and spot-Ether ETFs.” This move signals strong preparations for imminent listings. Meanwhile, an ASX spokesperson confirmed the exchange’s ongoing discussions with several issuers eager to launch Spot Bitcoin ETFs, although a specific timeline remains under wraps.

The introduction of these ETFs could significantly impact Australia’s $2.3 trillion pension market. With around 25% of the country’s retirement assets managed through self-directed superannuation programs, these funds are seen as potential primary buyers. Jamie Hannah, deputy head of investments and capital markets at VanEck Australia, noted, “There is a large enough addressable market here to get this ETF to an adequate size.”

The journey to introduce spot Bitcoin ETFs in Australia has been challenging. Previous attempts on the smaller CBOE Australia platform saw limited success. For instance, the Cosmos Asset Management’s ETF was delisted due to low inflows, and the Global X 21Shares Bitcoin ETF has accumulated about $62 million in assets.

Despite these challenges, the shift to the more prominent ASX platform could offer these ETFs greater visibility and potentially higher inflows, thanks to the ASX’s larger trading volume and broader investor base. “ASX is the exchange we want to list on,” Arzadon added, emphasizing the strategic importance of ASX’s robust regulatory environment.

Moreover, Lisa Wade, CEO of DigitalX, suggested a significant potential for cryptocurrencies in Australian investment portfolios. “Australians could allocate up to 10% of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies,” Wade commented, indicating a robust belief in their long-term potential as alternative financial instruments.

As global markets are increasingly open to digital assets, Australia’s upcoming Spot Bitcoin ETFs reflect a significant shift in the perception and viability of cryptocurrencies as mainstream financial products. This aligns with trends in the United States and Hong Kong, where substantial accumulations have been noted in similar funds.

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