Family offices in Australia are reportedly piling into digital assets as fund managers compete to list the country’s first cryptocurrency-backed exchange-traded fund.
VanEck and BetaShares have each lodged submissions with the Australian Securities Exchange following a rejection of industry speculation in March that the exchange was opposed to such products. The ASX confirmed that it had received formal applications from several other investment managers eager to launch their own Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs.
Earlier this week, VanEck Asia–Pacific CEO Arian Neiron stated that the crypto asset movement had become more mainstream and that a Bitcoin ETF on the ASX could democratize crypto assets for all types of investors.
Australian ETF provider BetaShares also confirmed an ASX application but did not specify whether it was planning a Bitcoin product or one more broadly backed by digital assets.
BetaShares managing director Alex Vynokur stated that there was significant demand for such products, adding:
“From our perspective, a regulated structure of an ETF is the more appropriate structure for a significant number of investors, rather [than] buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on unregulated exchanges.”
The ASX declined to speculate or comment on the applications but stated that it is closely monitoring developments in relation to listed investments involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The moves have been viewed as bullish by investors down under as Australia’s wealthiest families begin to diversify their portfolios with crypto assets.
According to a Business Insider Australia report, listed blockchain investment company DigitalX has been offering assistance to increasing numbers of family offices eager to invest in the maturing digital asset space. DigitalX executive director Leigh Travers said that investors are replacing their gold portions of portfolios with Bitcoin, adding:
“The biggest change has been around institutional interest which has helped evolve it from a speculative asset to an asset that is part of a diversified portfolio and has the strongest macro winds of any investment possible I think.”
Travers cited decentralized finance as being one factor that has made this bull run different from the previous one in 2017–2018.
The report revealed that the average family office in Australia and New Zealand controls more than $600 million each, and the moves into crypto assets signal just how ubiquitous the asset class is becoming.
As reported by Cointelegraph, Australia’s securities regulator wants crypto firms to engage with it to help it foster innovation in the region.
In late April, the United States Securities and Exchange Commissiondelayed the decision on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF until June 17.