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‘Exiting Times’ as Australian Managers Ready ‘Inevitable’ Bitcoin ETF Offerings

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: iStock/btgbtg

Australian funds are ready to pile aboard the international bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) bandwagon – and could have their products ready for the market as early as the middle of 2022, provided regulators decide to play ball.

Per a report from the Sydney Morning Herald, a number of managers are preparing for what investors claim will be an “inevitable” influx of BTC ETFs. With American regulators earlier this month granting their first-ever green-light for such a product, regulators elsewhere in the world have found themselves under increasing pressure from managers hoping to follow suit fast.

The media outlet noted that “currently, crypto ETFs aren’t able to operate in Australia due to regulatory concerns over asset custody,” but added that regulators like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission were “currently finalizing a review into the feasibility” of ETFs and how they would fit into in the Australian market.

It quoted Alex Vynokur, the CEO at the USD 15bn ETF provider Betashares, as stating that his firm was among the companies hoping to launch an Australian bitcoin ETF “when the regulation permits,” adding:

“At the moment, we’re seeing some stats in Australia that well over a million Australians own an investment in cryptocurrencies directly. We do think that over time we will see Bitcoin and hopefully other cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds available.”

And Heath Behncke, the managing director of the tech-specializing fund operator Holon said he “expects an Australian Bitcoin ETF could be launched by mid-2022,” and hoped his company would be “one of the frontrunners in launching a fund when possible.”

“I definitely think there’s a lot of investors keen on a bitcoin ETF, but it’s still early in conversations. There’s definitely a pent-up demand for it,” he added.

Oliver Metcalfe, an Australian living in Melbourne with “a passing interest” in crypto, told

“Personally, I wouldn’t invest in a cryptocurrency ETF. But if America is allowing them already, it seems weird that we’d drag our feet on this all the way till next year. Investors need something to get excited about. If bitcoin floats their boat, more power to them.”

The fund managers’ cause may be bolstered by recent events in parliament, where senator Andrew Bragg recently submitted a report to his fellow lawmakers recommending that Australia set up crypto custody protocols.

The media outlet quoted Behncke as stating this “would be critical in streamlining crypto ETFs in Australia,” although “overseas custody in more crypto-friendly regimes such as Wyoming in the United States” could provide an alternative.

Redditors approved on the r/cryptocurrency sub, with one opining:

“These are going to start popping up in markets worldwide now. Exciting times.”

Learn more: 
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Bitcoin Futures ETF
SEC Approves Bitcoin-Related ETF as Market Awaits for ‘Real’ BTC ETF

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