Australia’s first cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds met a muted reception in their debut on Thursday as global crypto markets were being battered by the collapse of two digital tokens.
Securities and derivatives exchange Cboe Australia introduced the ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF and the ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF, the first exchange traded funds to offer Australian investors direct, regulated exposure to the world’s biggest digital tokens by market capitalization, Bitcoin and Ethereum, it said in a statement. The Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF also debuted on Cboe on Thursday, according to media reports.
One in five Australians already owns cryptocurrency, according to a 2021 Swyftx survey, and the new ETF products may attract additional investors.
Cboe Australia CEO Vic Jokovic said: “We’re pleased to partner with ETF Securities to bring the first crypto ETFs to market in Australia.” He added that they were “breakthrough products that will pave the way for more Australians to expose their portfolios to cryptocurrency in a regulated manner.”
Still, the historic debut came amid the collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin UST and its related Terra-based asset, Luna. The three new ETFs each experienced initial trading volumes below $1 million and under-performed bullish market expectations amid a global sell-off in the underlying prices of bitcoin and ether, the AFR said.
“There are strong signs of capitulation in crypto this week, which often proceeds rebounds,” Tony Sycamore, senior market analyst for City Index, told Bloomberg. “Presuming the recovery gains traction, it will help garner support for the newly listed ETF products along with the continuation of more widespread adoption.”