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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