The first crypto ETF (ASX:CRYP) has just hit the boards. Here’s what you should know

There’s a new way for ASX investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptos…

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An Australian flag flies next to a flag showing Bitcoin.

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It’s official.

The BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF (ASX: CRYP) launched on the ASX this morning.

ASX investors now have the means to gain exposure to a basket of up to 50 assets (currently 32) closely linked to a range of cryptos, such as Bitcoin (CRYTPO: BTC) and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH).

Investors can buy and sell shares in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) just as they would any other ASX listed shares.

Take note, though, that the ETF doesn’t invest directly in Bitcoin, or any altcoin for that matter.

Exposure to the crypto economy

Instead, as the BetaShares website explains, the first ASX crypto ETF “aims to track the performance of an index (before fees and expenses) that provides exposure to global companies at the forefront of the dynamic crypto economy”.

Those fees are listed as 0.67% per year, with the caveat that “certain additional costs apply”.

As of this morning, the crypto ETF’s top holdings are Silvergate Capital Corp (12.3%), Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (11.8%), Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd (11.1%), and Coinbase Global Inc (9.8%).

BetaShares points out that “CRYP should be considered very high risk”.

Indeed, as cryptocurrency prices remain highly volatile, investors should be prepared for some potentially large price swings for CRYP and any future ASX crypto ETFs.

The path to crypto ETF ASX listing

Last Friday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released its guidance on cryptocurrency-related investment products.

As my Foolish colleague Tony Yoo noted yesterday: “BetaShares chief Alex Vynokur welcomed the nod from the corporate watchdog for Australians seeking cryptocurrency exposure but afraid of trading on ‘unregulated exchanges’.”

Last week Vynokur told Business Insider Australia:

We know that there are millions, millions of people around the world [invested in crypto], and close to 2 million Australians that have actually invested in cryptocurrency directly.

But we also know for every person that invests directly in cryptocurrency, there is also a person that wants to have a diversified exposure to the company’s really thriving ecosystem.

While other crypto ETFs could now follow CRYP’s virtual footsteps to list on the ASX, being the first mover can have its advantages. This was witnessed with the launch of the first US-listed futures-based Bitcoin ETF (BITO), which commenced trading last month with huge investor interest.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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