Share this article
Monochrome, a bitcoin-focused asset management firm, and Vasco Trustees have filed for Australia’s first fully allowed spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) as the first of its kind under the country’s new regulatory guidelines.
Monochrome announced today July 14, 2023 that its Responsible Entity Partner, Vasco Trustees Ltd, has filed an updated application with the ASX to list the Monochrome #Bitcoins ETF, an exchange-traded fund that will have direct exposure to bitcoin.
— Monochrome (@MonochromeAsset) July 13, 2023
The Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (IBTC), intended to provide regulated Bitcoin exposure to retail investors, comes a year after Vasco received a license to manage crypto spot ETFs in the country.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) amended its rules for the Australian Financial Services License (AFS) at the end of 2021. The amendment aimed to increase transparency between crypto firms and improve investor safeguards:
“Key issues covered by the ASIC Best Practices Guide include admission and oversight standards, custody of crypto-assets, pricing methodologies, disclosure and risk management.”
The updated regulations state that institutional backing and backing of the underlying crypto are required for a spot ETF to be approved, with established service providers required to support these products.
As of today, only two AFS licensees are currently permitted to license retail crypto assets, including Monochrome’s ETF issuer. Others are designated as wholesalers, which implies that they must obtain approval to supply such products to retail investors.
Previous attempts to launch Bitcoin ETFs in Australia include that of Cosmos Asset Management. However, he was dropped from the roster last year due to lack of demand. overall X and 21Shares Bitcoin ETFthe first to be publicly listed in Australia, still trades today using a wholesale and retail feeder fund structure.
The distinct feature of Monochrome’s ETF falls under the category of “crypto-asset” licensing, allowing the fund to hold Bitcoin directly, with the announcement stating:
“ASIC’s implementation of an Australian Marketplace Framework for crypto-asset exchange-traded products benefits product providers and investors by establishing a clear pathway and regulatory requirements for market participants. offering financial products with direct exposure to crypto-assets.”
As Australia witnesses these developments, the US market is also seeing renewed interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs, with financial giants like BlackRock, Invesco and WisdomTree recently filing applications.