BetaShares is launching a crypto-focused equities exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF, however, does not offer exposure directly to cryptocurrencies, rather the ETF will provide exposure to digital asset businesses like exchanges and mining operations.
The ETF aims to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators Index, underpinning another ETF listed on the NYSE.
“It was a very lengthy process,” said BetaShares chief executive Alex Vynokur about the process to have the ETF approved for trading.
“But the genuine investor demand is growing and it makes sense for us to offer them exposure to the most important development since the launch of the internet.”
While the ASX was hesitant to allow crypto-related businesses on the exchange, it is currently assessing the suitability of Bitcoin-related ETFs under the AQUA rules that cover underlying investments, liquidity requirements, price transparency, and qualifications of the issuer.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is also finalizing a consultation process to explore the potential for crypto ETFs to trade on the local bourse.
Vynokur said an ETF structure provides the much-needed investor protection which investors don’t get when they buy cryptocurrencies on unregulated venues.
“These are all things the regulators are working through now.”
“It doesn’t have to be about speculating on the value of Bitcoin, or Ethereum, or Ripple.”
The new ETF, CRYP, will focus on pure-play crypto companies and those companies that hold crypto assets on their balance sheets along with diversified companies with crypto-focused business lines.