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George Spencer

October 29, 2021

ASIC Thinks Bitcoin and Ethereum Qualify for ETF Listing

As the crypto industry continues to experience increasing regulatory clarity, Australia’s securities regulator has hinted that it could give the green light for bitcoin and ether exchange-traded products.

On Friday, Oct. 29, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) published a set of regulatory requirements for providers who wish to offer crypto ETPs.

This new development comes as a response to the series of public consultations on crypto ETPs that the regulator has been receiving since June.

In the official guidance, the securities regulator noted that the top two cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have so far satisfied its criteria for ETPs, adding that it expects to see other cryptocurrencies become eligible for ETPs in the future.

For a crypto asset to become a proper underlying asset for an ETP, ASIC noted that it must meet up to five criteria, including a high level of institutional acceptance and support, a regulated futures market, transparent pricing mechanisms, a mature spot market, and reputable and experienced service providers.

“As at October 2021, Bitcoin and Ethereum appear likely to satisfy all five factors identified above to determine appropriate underlying assets for an ETP. We expect the range of non-financial product crypto-assets that can satisfy these factors will expand over time,” the regulator stated.

Following this announcement, Australian firms that are interested in establishing a Bitcoin ETF will be required to strictly adhere to a list of guidelines, especially in matters concerning the safe custody of the assets.

ASIC emphasized that the safe and secure storage of crypto private keys, which grants access to the assets, was of “critical importance.”

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The news comes just as Australia’s ETF provider, BetaShares, is set to launch a crypto ETF that is directed toward offering exposure to several crypto-focused companies like Coinbase and MicroStrategy.

While some countries like China have halted crypto transactions, Australia has witnessed a growing interest in the asset class and is focused on providing clear regulations for it.

Earlier this month, the country’s Senate Select Committee called for healthy crypto regulation in Australia.