BetaShares set to launch Australia’s first ever crypto ETF


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TL;DR Breakdown

  • BetaShares is hoping to launch Australia’s first crypto-centric Exchange, Traded Fund. It hopes to do so as soon as it gets the regulator’s nod.
  • The ETF will trade under the CRYP ticker and model on Bitwise’s Crypto Industry Index. The development comes when the Australian Securities Exchange is objecting to the listing of such products. 

BetaShares Australia’s premier exchange-traded (ETF) provider has confirmed its debuting its crypto-based ETF soon. The company’s ETF will be known as BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF. And it’ll trade under the CRYP ticker on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). 

CRYP allows you to buy into a selection of blue-chip companies in the global crypto space.

It does all this while relieving you of the need to hold digital assets directly. And if you already own crypto, it’ll act as a complementary asset, helping you diversify your investments.

BetaShares ETF will model Bitwise’s index

CRYP will track Bitwise’s Crypto Industry Innovators Index. This index is a product of Bitwise, a leading crypto asset management firm. Eighty-five percent of this fund focuses on entities deriving at least three-quarters of their income directly from crypto. 

Examples include cryptocurrency exchanges, service providers, and crypto mining and hardware firms. The index’s remaining 15 percent will go into investments in a variety of large-cap firms.

BetaShares says it’s ready for rollout; the only thing holding them back is the regulator’s nod. That is telling as previously, the ASX has been reluctant to license such products. This reluctance has led some homegrown firms to set up shop abroad. But BetaShares is exuding confidence that it’ll get the green light to proceed with its rollout of CRYP.

ASX’s hesitancy in listing crypto-leaning businesses stems from the absence of a regulatory framework on them. The exchange reports that it’s still studying the appropriateness of listing a bitcoin-backed ETF under Australian regulations. 

These regulations include the necessary investments, the issuer’s know-how, capital base, and product price transparency. BetaShares’ chief executive officer (CEO) Alex Vynokur says the licensing has lagged. But the soaring demand for the firm’s product has made it bearable.

Could ASIC allow listing of crypto projects?

As BetaShares awaits word on its application, its CEO laments the lack of regulation for crypto-focused ETFs. He suggests that ETFs guarantee investors security, openness, and accountability. They don’t get those by acquiring cryptos from unregulated sites.

Today, an Australian crypto investor may buy crypto from both offshore and onshore exchanges. One of the popular offshore exchanges is Binance that’s had its share of problems in Britain. Local alternatives include CoinJar and Independent Reserve.

These local exchanges are pushing for the setting up of custody rules to shield investors. They insist that service providers abroad could expose investors to risk since they hold the funds offshore. There the legal protections to the investors remain unclear.

These calls have caught the attention of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Currently, it’s winding up consultations weighing the possibility of allowing crypto-baked ETFs to exchange on the ASX.

Vynkor is supporting calls for the ASX to allow listing of Australian crypto businesses. He insists that many will benefit from the move. ASIC’s stance on BetaShares’ application will have a bearing on whether it and other players pursue crypto-focused ETFs fully. 

Further, the CEO holds that the digital asset economy is very dynamic.CRYP is positioning itself as an inventive means of winning over skeptics to crypto through a familiar, affordable, and liquid structure.

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Edith Muthoni

Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and cryptocurrency investments.

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