Source: Adobe / danielpankoke
the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has published a set of guidelines for crypto-backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in Australia that could mean Australians can trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) ETFs in the coming months.
The new guidelines from the Australian regulator mean that ETFs that hold cryptocurrencies or related assets like stocks of crypto mining companies can go live on the local stock exchange.
According to the new guidelines, companies wishing to launch crypto ETFs must adhere to a number of best practice guidelines, highlighting the safekeeping of digital assets as a key element.
In addition, the regulator expects companies that launch ETFs to develop compensation systems for investors in the event that companies’ digital assets are lost or stolen.
The guidelines also state that there are “market operators” like the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) to assess which digital assets are acceptable for an ETF. The criteria that should be considered for such an assessment included institutional support, the number of reputable service providers in existence, and whether a regulated futures market exists.
Currently, only Bitcoin and Ethereum would meet these criteria as they are the only two crypto assets with a regulated futures market on the market Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). However, ASIC noted that it expects the number of assets that match the criteria to grow over time.
“The best practices we have published provide practical examples of how these commitments can be met in a way that ensures investor protection and Australia’s fair, orderly and transparent markets,” said ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armor.
Today’s approvals follow news earlier this week that crypto ETFs in Australia could be ready by mid-2022, provided regulators give the go-ahead and a number of Australian companies are already preparing such an offer.
In addition, the regulator’s green light comes less than two weeks today after Australian Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg tabled a major new package of crypto reforms in the Australian Parliament.
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