Australia’s securities regulator warns investors ahead of Bitcoin ETF launch on ASX

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a cautionary statement to investors in anticipation of the launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

    The regulatory body highlighted the inherent risks associated with cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that investors should only use funds they are “prepared to lose.”

    ASX approves first Bitcoin ETF

    This advisory comes in the wake of the ASX approving the country’s first spot Bitcoin ETF.

    The approval marks a significant milestone for the Australian financial market, introducing a new investment product linked directly to Bitcoin.

    Despite the novelty, the ASIC continues its vigilant stance, cracking down on crypto companies that offer unregistered securities.

    Advisory challenges in the crypto sector

    Sharon Goodwin, a senior adviser at 123 Financial Group, pointed out the difficulties in offering advice on cryptocurrency investments in Australia.

    According to Goodwin, cryptocurrencies are not listed as approved products, and her firm prohibits discussing such investments with clients.

    “My statement of advice will acknowledge that they have it, but there will be a comment that we are not giving advice,” Goodwin noted.

    She also mentioned that only a small fraction of her clients inquire about crypto-focused products, often treating them as “play money.”

    However, Goodwin anticipates that cryptocurrencies might be included in the approved products list once they prove their stability and legitimacy.

    Optimism among some market players

    Despite the cautious stance of many financial advisors, some market players are optimistic about the introduction of Bitcoin ETFs.

    Betashares and Digital X, a digital asset investment firm, have both announced plans to list Bitcoin ETFs.

    Lisa Wade, CEO of Digital X, confirmed that the company is “very far down the track” in its listing process, collaborating closely with the ASX for approval.

    Wade also hinted at the possibility of an Ethereum ETF, which would track the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

    The discussions around Ethereum ETFs gained momentum after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved proposed rule changes to list spot ETH ETFs last month.

    First spot Bitcoin ETF approval

    Australia approved its first spot Bitcoin ETF on June 3, with Monochrome Asset Management’s ETF becoming the first investment product in the country to hold Bitcoin directly.

    This ETF marks a pivotal development in Australia’s financial landscape, potentially paving the way for more cryptocurrency-based investment products in the future.

    As Australia ventures into the realm of cryptocurrency ETFs with the ASX’s recent approval, regulatory bodies and financial advisors remain vigilant, urging caution amidst the excitement.

    The mixed reactions from market analysts and financial advisors reflect the ongoing debate over the legitimacy and stability of cryptocurrencies.

    While some see the move as a positive step towards integrating digital assets into mainstream finance, others advise careful consideration of the associated risks.

    The post Australia’s securities regulator warns investors ahead of Bitcoin ETF launch on ASX appeared first on Invezz

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