First Bitcoin, Ether ETFs Set To Launch In Australia

The three funds will debut on Thursday.

sumit
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Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
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Edited by: Sumit Roy

Australia’s first cryptocurrency ETFs are ready to launch this week, giving investors in the country a familiar way to invest in bitcoin and ether.  

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

At the time, the listing exchange Cboe Australia said that “standard checks” were still being completed, which precluded the funds from launching. With everything now sorted away, the funds 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 U.S. did last year. Canadian investors were treated to spot bitcoin and ether funds, while U.S. 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 is achieved somewhat indirectly through its holdings of the $1 billion 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 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. 

Hany Rashwan, CEO and co-founder of 21Shares, said of the launch: “Australian investors clearly want and deserve an affordable, easy, and professional way to access the growing crypto asset class and we’re delighted to continue building accessible bridges into the crypto world. We’re starting with Bitcoin and Ethereum but have even more exciting plans for Australian investors”. 

 

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Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.