The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) plans to introduce the country’s first crypto-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) amid surging institutional adoption of digital assets.
The ASX is currently reviewing several ETF applications, and the first product will potentially launch by the end of the year, sources close to the matter have told Business Insider.
According to ASX executive general manager Max Cunningham, the exchange is spending more time looking at digital assets amid rising mainstream adoption.
“Local issuers who want to bring these products to market are not ignoring it either. So we are spending an enormous amount of time focused on this,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham notes that the current popularity of digital assets is worth exploring the sector. The official further clarified that with the huge demand for digital assets in Australia, other related crypto products would have good reception.
Rejection of earlier application
He admits that since earlier applications were turned down, there has been a notion that such crypto products had been banned.
“Because we were turning down several spurious offerings five or six years ago, there’s a perception that we have banned this asset class, and we have categorically not got a ban on it,” Cunningham added.
Additionally, the official noted that the biggest fear is protecting retail investors who are vulnerable to fraudulent offerings. Cunningham states that there is a need for transparency in the sector.
He added that price manipulation remains another concern for ASX. Most specifically, Cunningham pointed out social media manipulation as an area to look out for.
ASX is observing the Canadian market after the country became the first to introduce a bitcoin ETF. Cunningham notes that being a new asset class, there is a need to take more time before unveiling one in Australia.
A crypto ETF will potentially push mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in Australia. It will open the door for investors to include assets like bitcoin in their share portfolio.