Australia Launches Its Second Bitcoin ETF on ASX

In a notable move that underscores the burgeoning interest in cryptocurrency investments in Australia, Perth-based DigitalX has secured regulatory approval to list its pioneering spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the country’s preeminent bourse, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), as early as this week. This development is set to mark a significant milestone, as DigitalX’s spot Bitcoin ETF, BTXX, will stand as the ASX’s second foray into such offerings, closely tailing VanEck’s earlier entry in June.

The launch of BTXX is poised to extend an accessible pathway for ASX investors to directly engage with Bitcoin through a structured investment vehicle recognized for its liquidity and adherence to regulatory norms, as elucidated by DigitalX CEO Lisa Wade. With trading activities primed to commence on Thursday, 8:00 pm ET, K2 Assessment Management will oversee the fund as the “Responsible Entity and Issuer.” Furthermore, DigitalX has enlisted the expertise of digital asset investment heavyweight 3iQ to facilitate the domestic and international promotion and distribution of the ETF.

The ASX, accounting for a significant share of equity trading within Australia, is widely regarded by the investment community for its liquidity and comprehensive acceptance. Achieving a listing on such a platform demands stringent adherence to an array of regulatory prerequisites, spanning disclosures, financial health, and compliance with exchange regulations. Once these hurdles are navigated successfully, the ETF gains official listing status, paving the way for public trading.

Distinguished from VanEck’s VBTC—which leans on exposure to Bitcoin through its investment in the U.S.-based VanEck Bitcoin Trust on the Cboe exchange—DigitalX’s BTXX is uniquely positioned. According to sources familiar with the matter, its operational framework, squarely under Australian jurisdiction, ostensibly shields it from the oscillations of U.S. political dynamics, offering a degree of insulation to Australian investors from overseas influences.

The drive to introduce Bitcoin ETFs on Australian soil isn’t a fledgling endeavor. The landscape has seen similar products over the past two years, with Global X 21Shares’ Bitcoin ETF debuting on the Cboe Australia in April 2022 through a novel wholesale-retail feeder fund structure. However, market volatilities, epitomized by the Terra/Luna debacle, momentarily dampened the momentum for new listings.

Seemingly undeterred by past setbacks, Sydney’s Monochrome Asset Management reignited the enthusiasm for crypto-linked ETFs with its IBTC offering on Cboe Australia this June, shortly before VanEck’s launch. As the ASX braces for DigitalX’s BTXX listing, the narrative around cryptocurrency investments in Australia continues to evolve, underscoring a growing appetite among investors for innovative and regulated avenues to access the digital asset space.