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ETF Securities launches bitcoin and ethereum ETFs

3 minute read

The two new funds are the first Australian ETFs to invest directly in bitcoin and ether, according to ETF Securities and 21Shares.

ETF Securities and 21Shares have confirmed that two new crypto-based ETFs will list on the Cboe Exchange next week.

According to the two firms, the ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) will be the first Australian ETF to invest directly in bitcoin, while the ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF (EETH) will be the first to invest directly in ether.

In a statement, ETF Securities and 21Shares said that the ETFs would offer Aussies “simple, cost-effective and direct access” to crypto investments.

“We're so incredibly excited to be able to offer the first direct exposure to bitcoin and ethereum ETF in Australia,” said 21Shares CEO and co-founder Hany Rashwan.

“Australian investors clearly want and deserve an affordable, easy, and professional way to access the growing crypto-asset class and we're delighted to continue building accessible bridges into the crypto world.”

Originally announced in December last year, the ETFs will track the price of their respective cryptocurrency in Australian dollars and are fully backed by crypto held in cold storage by Coinbase.

ETF Securities head of distribution Kanish Chugh said that the funds would allow Aussie investors to overcome some of the challenges of investing in crypto such as low exchange quality, weak custody arrangements, the risk of hacking and the potential loss of private keys and passwords.

He added that bitcoin was the best performing asset over the past ten years, while ether was one of the top performers over the past five years.

“They may be used as alpha tilts or side bets in a portfolio. They can also be bought as portfolio diversifiers, as they are completely different asset and uncorrelated to shares, bonds and commodities,” he said.

Mr Rashwan noted that while bitcoin and ethereum were the focus of the first two ETFs, there were “even more exciting plans” in store for Australian investors.

Both the EBTC and EETH will go live on the Cboe Exchange on 27 April.

They will join a number of other locally-listed, crypto-related ETFs including the BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF listed on the ASX, and the Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF listed on Cboe.

The Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday that Cosmos Asset Management was also planning to launch its own bitcoin ETF locally.

The new Cosmos Asset Management bitcoin ETF will invest in the Canada-based Purpose Bitcoin ETF and may launch as early as 27 April.

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.