Despite the ongoing uncertainty about cryptocurrency regulation in India, local financial firms are backing new ventures aiming to launch Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF).
Torus Kling Blockchain, a joint venture between Cosmea Financial Holding, a financial firm backed by former Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh, and Kling Trading India, is preparing to launch Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) futures ETFs in India, The Economic Times reported Thursday.
The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s major stock exchange, the India International Exchange (INX), to launch crypto ETFs alongside investment products tracking major metaverse-related companies listed in the United States.
According to the report, Torus Kling Blockchain is planning to set up the ETFs in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) by the end of the current fiscal year in India, or by the end of March 2022. The ETFs are subject to approval by India’s International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and other regulators, the report notes.
India INX CEO Venkataramani Balasubramaniam said that the stock exchange and GIFT IFSC are looking at “exploring the launch of digital asset-based products” and has already applied with the IFSCA under “regulatory sandbox.”
“This is a part of our product innovation initiative to benchmark offerings with other international financial centers. We will be launching products in these new-age assets in compliance with the prevailing laws after receiving all required post regulatory approvals,” the executive noted.
Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that is a “tip of the iceberg” of the upcoming fintech innovation and adoption, Torus Kling Blockchain CEO Krishna Mohan Meenavalli said. “Exchange trade products allow trading through regular investment accounts, bypassing the hassle and security concerns of cryptocurrency exchanges,” he said.
In late 2021, India's Securities and Exchange Board reportedly approved Invesco Mutual Fund’s Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund, aimed at investing in blockchain industry companies.
The news comes amid India INX aggressively extending to other markets, reportedly moving to allow local investors to access trading on Russia’s Moscow Exchange earlier in January. As previously reported, Russian financial giant Sber launched its own blockchain-related ETF tracking Coinbase and Galaxy Digital in late 2021.