ASX Approves Its First Spot Bitcoin ETF: A Milestone for Australian Crypto Investors

June 17, 2024

Australia’s largest stock exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), has taken a leap by approving its first spot Bitcoin ETF. The approval paves the way for the VanEck Bitcoin ETF (VBTC) to commence trading on Thursday, marking a pivotal moment for Australian investors seeking regulated Bitcoin exposure.

The approval follows VanEck’s recent success in the United States, where the firm was authorized to launch the VanEck Bitcoin Trust (HODL) earlier this year. VanEck’s decision to bring a Bitcoin ETF to the ASX is in response to the growing demand for cryptocurrency investments in Australia, which has been mirrored globally.

Arian Neiron, VanEck’s CEO and managing director for the Asia-Pacific region, emphasized the increasing interest in Bitcoin among Australian investors. “We are pleased to bring Bitcoin to the Australian market as a regulated financial product on the nation’s primary capital market destination, the ASX,” Neiron said in a statement on the fund manager’s website. He pointed out that despite the polarizing nature of crypto investing, Bitcoin is emerging as a sought-after asset class. “VBTC makes Bitcoin more accessible by managing all the back-end complexity. Understanding the technical aspects of acquiring, storing, and securing digital assets is no longer necessary.”

Although this is the first time a spot Bitcoin ETF has been approved by the ASX, there have been two other instances when Bitcoin ETFs have launched in Australia over the past two years. The first Bitcoin ETF in the country was listed two years ago by CBOE Australia, the nation’s second-largest stock exchange.

Global X 21 Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) was the pioneer, followed by the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (IBTC), which started trading on CBOE Australia on June 4. Since its launch, the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF has accumulated 46 BTC, demonstrating a growing interest in such investment vehicles.

VanEck’s history of pioneering investment opportunities aligns with this new venture. CEO Neiron drew parallels to the firm’s historic launch of the first gold equity fund in 1968, highlighting the its foresight in identifying valuable investment opportunities.

“Being responsive to new opportunities has always been a guiding principle for VanEck,” Neiron said. This new offering not only provides Australian investors with a regulated avenue to invest in Bitcoin but also signifies a broader acceptance and integration of digital assets within traditional financial system.

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