Australia’s First Spot Bitcoin ETF To Launch This Week

On Thursday, two separate bitcoin ETFs will launch, one allowing direct access to bitcoin while the other offers shares in a company that offers spot-bitcoin exposure.

  • Two bitcoin ETFs in Australia are set to launch this Thursday, May 12.
  • The 21 Shares Bitcoin ETF will offer direct access to bitcoin backed by BTC in cold storage.
  • The Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF will allow investors to invest in shares of Purpose Investment’s spot-bitcoin ETF located in North America.

Two bitcoin exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) are set to go live on Thursday in Australia after a delay stalled the previous launch date of April 27, according to announcements made by the Cboe Australia exchange.

The Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF (Cboe:CBTC) will be managed by Cosmos Asset Management Pty Ltd, while the 21 Shares Bitcoin ETF will be managed in partnership with ETF Securities (Cboe: EBTC).

21 Shares and ETF Securities will offer direct investment opportunities for investors to interact with bitcoin. The 21 Shares fund is backed with bitcoin held in cold storage by Coinbase. In the original press release primed for the April 27 release, 21 Shares said:

“Australian investors clearly want and deserve an affordable, easy, and professional way to access the growing crypto asset class and we’re delighted to continue building accessible bridges into the crypto world.”

Cosmos was the first bitcoin ETF to receive approval in Australia after it met a 42% margin requirement from ASX Clear, a large Australian clearing house. Cosmos planned to not offer spot-bitcoin, but rather offer investors the ability to purchase shares of Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF listed in Toronto, Canada, which shattered records on its original release with over $80 million traded within its first hour, and over $200 million traded in its first day which is ten times the average ETF volume.

Having been given the greenlight for release, both Cosmos and 21 Shares were shocked when Cboe Australia issued an announcement stating the delay was for “standard checks.” However, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that the blame fell on a “service provider downstream,” who required more time to support the products.

Reportedly, the entity halting the release of the pending ETFs was a “prime” or “executing” broker whose approval was needed for the market maker to ensure operations for the market. 

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