ASX Welcomes First Bitcoin ETF as Crypto Soars in Popularity

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) welcomed its first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Thursday (June 20), following a growing trend of digital assets hitting various global stock markets.

The VanEck Bitcoin ETF (ASX:VBTC) invests in the VanEck Bitcoin Trust (BATS:HODL), but doesn't own Bitcoin directly.

“We’re really pleased to admit the ASX’s first Bitcoin ETF, responding to increased customer demand for access to cryptocurrency assets, and providing access to more investment options for Australians,” Andrew Campion, general manager of investment products and strategy at the ASX, said in a press release.

Campion emphasised that trading Bitcoin via an ETF on an established exchange like the ASX allows investors to buy and sell via traditional brokerage accounts, simplifying the process compared to using cryptocurrency exchanges.

"This approach makes it easier for more Australians to invest in Bitcoin," he added in the release.

The VanEck Bitcoin ETF launched with an initial investment of approximately AU$985,000 (US$657,000) and is designed as a feeder fund for the US$647 million VanEck Bitcoin Trust, which is listed in the US.

This setup ensures that each unit of the ETF is backed by a specific amount of Bitcoin, offering investors a transparent and straightforward way to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency's price movements.

The ASX's move to introduce its first Bitcoin ETF follows a broader trend of increasing acceptance of digital assets. Earlier this year, spot Bitcoin ETFs were launched in the US, quickly accumulating US$56 billion in assets. Hong Kong also permitted the trading of spot ETFs for Bitcoin and Ether in April, although these have attracted less interest.

With the VanEck Bitcoin ETF now live on the ASX, other local players, including Sydney-based BetaShares Holdings and DigitalX (ASX:DCC,OTCQB:DGGXF), are preparing for potential listings on the country's main exchange. Crypto ETFs are already available on CBOE Australia, another Australian exchange, holding a collective US$90 million in assets.

Bitcoin itself has experienced notable momentum over the last nine months, and has nearly quadrupled in value since early 2023. It reaching a high of US$73,798 in March before experiencing a pullback.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Giann Liguid, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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