Australia set to debut spot Bitcoin ETFs by end of 2024

Australia’s ASX stock exchange is poised to list its first batch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the end of 2024, Bloomberg reports, citing insiders.

Notable applicants for the ETFs include VanEck and local firms BetaShares and DigitalX, who submitted their applications earlier this year.

ASX, which handles about 80% of the equity trades in Australia, has been actively engaging with several issuers interested in launching crypto asset-based ETFs. However, the exchange declined to provide further comments on the ongoing applications. As of March, ASX boasted a domestic market capitalization of $2.7 trillion.

The move to introduce spot bitcoin ETFs on ASX comes as the exchange looks to expand its cryptocurrency offerings. Currently, Australian investors can trade spot bitcoin ETFs on the CBOE Australia, where the Global X 21Shares Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs are listed. These funds represent the only two spot crypto funds available in Australia as per the CBOE’s website.

This development is part of a broader trend in the Asia-Pacific region following the recent approval of the first batch of spot bitcoin and ether ETFs in Hong Kong. Scheduled for listing on April 30, these funds mark a major milestone in the region’s crypto market, although they are expected to be smaller in scale compared to their U.S. counterparts.

The momentum for Bitcoin ETFs in Asia gained traction following their introduction in the U.S. earlier this year, where the 11 spot bitcoin funds have collectively amassed $53.16 billion in total net assets.

The anticipation surrounding the ETFs was heightened by speculations from industry players like Matrixport, which suggested demand from Chinese investors could reach $25 billion. However, a recent report by Wu Blockchain indicated that “southbound funds”—investments from mainland China—would be restricted from accessing these ETFs.