Australian crypto regulators open to Bitcoin ETF, rules already in place

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Securities regulators have indicated that they are open to the Bitcoin ETF as long as investors are covered by the proper regulations.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has explained its stance on Bitcoin (BTC)-linked exchange-traded funds.

According to the report of Feb. 12 of the Australian Financial Review, the Commission dealt with the matter after previously refusing the Bitcoin ETF proposal of the local Cosmos Capital firm.

According to the paper, Cosmos CEO James Manning said that ASIC “has a policy—which they have not issued—which states that they do not want an exchange of the traded product, the MIS, to be listed on an exchange.”

However, ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour told the Senate select committee on financial technology Friday that a Bitcoin ETF is possible as long as there are sufficient regulations in place on the market on which it is traded:

“For any products to be quoted on exchange markets in Australia, the particular market needs to have in place rules that facilitate the quoting of products […] Not all markets have rules in place that do that. […] These products can be made available to Australians through a managed investment scheme regime and Australians can invest in these products in that way.”

Armour said that the Bitcoin ETF could fall under the AQUA rules of the Australian Stock Exchange, which are explicitly structured for investment schemes such as Controlled Funds, ETFs and other goods.

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Armour noticed that the National Stock Exchange of Australia, on which Cosmos attempted to list its offering, did not have such regulations.

Australian Stock Exchange CEO Dominic Stevens said that ASX has taken a cautious approach to cryptocurrency related goods, but is considering them. “The world of bitcoin has changed since the last run, and my intestine is dominated by more corporate activity and institutions,” he said.

Steve Vallas, head of the Blockchain Association of Australia, told Cointelegraph that the change in regulatory attitudes is a significant signal for crypto adoption in the country:

“The first step towards the adoption […] is open communication and a willingness by Government to discuss the opportunity, implications and risks associated with the listing of products like an ETF. The message being conveyed from ASIC is a very important signal to the sector and is welcome news for all involved in the sector.”

Cosmos Capital is now preparing to list its Bitcoin ETF on ASX, which could theoretically become Australia’s first Bitcoin-linked ETF. Cosmos did not respond immediately to Cointelegraph’s request for comments.

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