This Firm Will Launch Australia’s First Spot ETF With Direct Bitcoin Holdings Today

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This Firm Will Launch Australia’s First Spot ETF With Direct Bitcoin Holdings Today
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Australian investment management firm Monochrome Asset Management will launch a first-of-its-kind spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the country on Tuesday, May 4, 2024.

According to an announcement, the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (IBTC) will be the first fund to hold BTC directly in Australia. Appropriate measures have been put in place to list the ETF for trading on the Cboe Australia exchange on June 4.

“The Investment Manager will implement a strictly passive buy and hold investment strategy for bitcoin. The fund will not use derivatives, leverage, or short selling,” stated Monochrome on its website.

Monochrome to Launch IBTC in Australia

The asset management firm applied to launch IBTC in April as the heat of the U.S. spot Bitcoin ETF market spread to other countries. CryptoPotato reported previously that Monochrome received approval to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF in August 2022; however, the fund was to give investors direct exposure to BTC, ether, and other cryptocurrencies.

Over the past years, many other firms have released Bitcoin ETFs that indirectly hold BTC or gain exposure to the digital asset through offshore products. Leading crypto exchange-traded products issuer 21Shares launched some of the products.

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While the funds allowed Australian investors to tap into the potential of the Bitcoin market, Monochrome CEO Jeff Yew, who formerly served as the chief executive of Binance Australia, said they do not benefit from the investor protection rules under the directly held crypto Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing regime.

Monochrome’s IBTC, on the other hand, was approved under a new crypto licensing category implemented by the AFS in 2021. The asset manager revealed that the ETF would use a custody solution that meets the country’s regulatory standards, and its holdings would be kept offline in a device not connected to the internet.

The Spot Bitcoin ETF Wave

The latest development comes as several other countries approve the listings of spot Bitcoin ETFs, offering investors direct exposure to the cryptocurrency. The success of the first wave of ETFs launched in the United States earlier this year has triggered a wave that is spreading across regions like Hong Kong.

Hong Kong saw its first spot Bitcoin ETFs on April 30, and analysts expect more countries to greenlight similar products in the coming months.

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