Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) mania has reached Australia’s listed markets.
It comes in the form of a new exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Run by Cosmos Asset Management, the Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF (DIGA) began trading in Australia yesterday.
DIGA doesn’t aim to track the price of Bitcoin, or any altcoin, for that matter. Instead, as the name implies, it aims to track the prices of a basket of cryptocurrency mining and infrastructure companies.
To answer the question posed in our headline, DIGA does not trade on the ASX. It listed yesterday on the ASIC regulated Aussie exchange Chi-X.
If you’re unfamiliar with the alternate exchange, here’s a simple explanation from CommSec, “Chi-X Australia is an alternative trading venue to ASX TradeMatch on the ASX which uses its own trading system and provides trading in a subset of ASX listed securities.”
Cosmos CEO on DIGA
Explaining why the company decided to launch DIGA, Cosmos CEO Dan Annan said (quoted by the Australian Financial Review), “For too long, investors have had to weigh up access to the growth of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies with the risks associated with investing through unregulated structures.”
Investing in DIGA, Annan said, “means investors do not have to directly hold cryptocurrencies and, importantly, provides Australians with the ability to access the potential upside of the next wave of financial market innovation.”
The ETF holds some 30 shares, including Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings and Hut 8 Mining Corporation. These companies generate much of their revenue from cryptocurrency mining and transactions, dominated by Bitcoin.
No direct Bitcoin ETF for Australia… yet
If you were hoping for a direct Bitcoin ETF listed in Australia – akin to the futures-based ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSE: BITO) that launched with great success in US markets last week – get in line.
As the AFR notes, Annan had hoped, and still hopes to, launch an ETF that directly invests in Bitcoin. “There has been pent-up demand for a bitcoin ETF for some time. That is still in the works with the regulator and exchanges but we began looking at ‘what is the alternative?'”
But Aussie regulators aren’t racing to give a Bitcoin ETF the green light.
According to Chi-X CEO, Vic Jokovic, “There are fund managers that are ready. The hold-up is that it’s just not clear in whose wheelhouse regulation sits. There are a lot of people waiting for clarity from the government or regulator.”