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News/Australian Securities Exchange Said to Approve Bitcoin ETFs Before 2024 Ends

Australian Securities Exchange Said to Approve Bitcoin ETFs Before 2024 Ends

Van Thanh Le

Apr 29 2024

3 months ago3 minutes read
Cubic robot at a finance expo about Australia's Bitcoin ETFs

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Australia Gears Up for Bitcoin ETF Revolution

Australia's financial landscape is set for a significant shift as the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which oversees 90% of the nation’s equity trade, gears up to greenlight its inaugural series of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the end of 2024. This strategic decision is in sync with global movements where regions like the United States and Hong Kong have begun to embrace these funds.

Jeff Yew, CEO of Monochrome, predicts that the Australian market could see an influx of $3 billion to $4 billion from these ETFs in the first three years alone, reflecting a burgeoning enthusiasm similar to the U.S., where Bitcoin ETFs currently boast $53 billion in assets across eleven products. This growing acceptance in other major markets has reassured Australian investors about the enduring presence of digital assets in the financial spectrum.

Vibrant scene in Australia's financial district discussing Bitcoin ETFs.webp

Details on the applicants have emerged, with DigitalX Ltd., VanEck Australia, and BetaShares each moving forward with their respective filings in February, signaling a robust interest and preparatory groundwork within the country. Despite the secrecy on specific applications, the ASX has confirmed its ongoing discussions with various issuers keen on crypto-asset-based ETFs.

On the cautionary side, Jeff Yew has voiced concerns over the inherent risks of direct Bitcoin investments through crypto exchanges, labeling it as precarious. He champions spot Bitcoin ETFs as a safer, more regulated alternative, likely to appeal especially to self-managed super fund (SMSF) investors and fund managers.

In a tactical maneuver, Monochrome opted to file its application with Cboe Australia, citing a more expedient and transparent process compared to ASX, highlighting a trend where firms seek nimbler regulatory engagements. Cboe Australia is on the brink of approving this application, setting the stage for a broader acceptance of crypto financial products in the market.

Hong Kong Unleashes Spot Crypto ETFs, Joins Global Race

April 30 marks a pivotal day for Hong Kong as it gears up to introduce its first spot crypto ETFs that will be directly backed by physical Bitcoin and Ether. This venture involves three major Chinese firms operating through their Hong Kong subsidiaries: China Asset Management, Bosera Asset Management, and Harvest Global Investments, all set to launch on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).

This strategic move comes hot on the heels of the United States, which rolled out its first spot Bitcoin ETFs in January 2024, signifying a major stride in the global availability of regulated crypto investment products. Previously, Hong Kong had launched futures-based crypto ETFs in late 2022, including products that track Bitcoin and Ether futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with a combined value of assets under management at HK$1.3 billion ($170 million) as of the day before the launch.

hkex.png
Source: HKEX

Despite the U.S. ETF market towering at $8.9 trillion with 3,457 products by the end of March 2024, Hong Kong's ETF market, sized at $50 billion, represents just 0.6% of the U.S. market by asset size. In contrast to U.S. spot crypto ETFs created via cash contributions, Hong Kong’s versions are unique as they are in-kind created, meaning shares are issued against actual holdings of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, highlighting a key differentiation in Hong Kong's financial products.

While U.S. regulators seem poised to decline the introduction of spot Ether ETFs, Hong Kong is advancing its offerings, aligning with countries like Canada which approved Ether futures ETFs back in April 2021. Despite their proximity to mainland China, these new spot crypto ETFs will be off-limits to Mainland Chinese citizens, adhering to China's stringent anti-crypto regulations.

Futuristic Hong Kong harbor at night, highlighting crypto ads.webp

China Asset Management’s Hong Kong subsidiary is leading the charge among the issuers, managing 15 ETFs with assets totaling $3.6 billion, dwarfing its competitors Bosera and Harvest, who manage significantly less in the region. Market analysts speculate that in an optimistic market scenario, these new spot crypto ETFs could draw up to $1 billion in assets within their first couple of years.

Conclusion

As Australia and Hong Kong embrace spot Bitcoin ETFs, the global crypto investment landscape is poised for a seismic shift. This regulatory acceptance paves the way for mainstream investors to tap into digital assets, fostering innovation and driving the evolution of traditional finance markets.

FAQs

1: What is the significance of Australia approving spot Bitcoin ETFs?

It signals a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the mainstream financial sector. The Australian Securities Exchange's move could attract billions in investments into these regulated crypto products within the first few years.

2: How are Hong Kong's spot crypto ETFs different from those in the U.S.?

Unlike the U.S. ETFs created via cash contributions, Hong Kong's versions are in-kind created, meaning shares are issued against actual holdings of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

3: Which firms are leading the spot crypto ETF launches in Hong Kong?

Three major Chinese firms operating through their Hong Kong subsidiaries - China Asset Management, Bosera Asset Management, and Harvest Global Investments - are set to launch the first spot crypto ETFs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

4: What is the potential market size for these new spot crypto ETFs?

Market analysts estimate that in an optimistic scenario, Hong Kong's new spot crypto ETFs could draw up to $1 billion in assets within their first couple of years.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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