There is a race within the race to bring direct access to cryptocurrencies to Australian investors, with the Chi-X exchange looking like it will win the race with the ASX to have a direct product.
ETF Securities is well down the track to launching two ETF products that will be called ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (Chi-X: EBTC) and ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF (Chi-X: EETH).
While an exact launching date for the two products is yet to be announced, the fact that they will be on Australia’s second biggest exchange Chi-X rather than the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is an interesting footnote to the race to market.
It is also interesting to note that one of the truly legendary ETF pioneers, Graham Tuckwell, who floated the world’s first gold backed exchange traded fund about 20 years ago, is involved.
As is a partner in the form of 21Shares, which has almost $4 billion in cryptocurrency floats in Europe and created the world’s first physically backed crypto ETP back in 2018.
European partner 21Shares experienced in crypto
Once we had decided to build a range of crypto ETFs for the Australian market, there was only one partner we wanted to work with,” said Mr Tuckwell, who is executive chair of ETF Securities.
“They are the cutting edge of crypto ETPs in the world today.”
The partners have also launched a cryptocurrency “research and education centre” for Australian investors.
It will cover the crypto mainstays such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and also some of the lesser-known currencies such as Solana, Polygon and Avalanche.
“The research centre will explain in simple English how the often-complicated world of blockchain works,” ETF Securities said in a statement.
“It will also feature the bleeding edge news on crypto, various blockchain metrics, price action and important news on miners, custodians and other companies in the supply chain.”
No more relying on unregulated exchanges
In an email to customers, ETF Securities said that wanting to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum have historically been forced onto unregulated crypto exchanges.
“But with the launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, investors will be able to trade on highly regulated exchanges.”
Most Australian investors can trade on Chi-X
Investors won’t notice much of a difference with a Chi-X listing with most of the main online brokers such as Stake, CMC Markets, Superhero, Selfwealth, NABTrade, AusieX, CommSec and Pearler able to trade seamlessly on either exchange.
ETF Securities has already launched its ETFS Fintech & Blockchain ETF (Chi-X: FTEC) on the Chi-X exchange so that it could get to market earlier, given some of the hurdles with trading on the ASX, which at this stage features the indirect Crypto ETF from BetaShares (ASX: CRYP).
21Shares chief executive Hany Rashwan said the company was excited to partner with ETF Securities to launch crypto ETFs for Australian investors, saying it would “provide the simplest and most transparent way to access the best performing asset class of the last 10 years.”