Three new cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) launches in Australia face last-minute delays less than a week after they were officially announced, undermining the country’s attempt to be top destination in the developed world for digital assets.
The funds were expected to go live on Australia’s Cboe exchange on April 27. But that has now been pushed back due to delays by parties separate from the companies behind the ETFs or the exchange.
No new timeline for the launch has been released.
“We have become aware late on Friday that a downstream service provider may not be fully ready to support the launch of the Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs,” said Evan Metcalf, head of product at Australia’s ETFS Management (AUS) Ltd, or ETF Securities, in a statement shared with Forkast.
“We are assured that work is being done over the long weekend to ensure readiness as soon as possible,” he added. “This may cause a temporary delay in these products coming to market.”
Along with Switzerland-based 21Shares AG, ETF Securities is behind both a Bitcoin and Ethereum spot-traded fund which was officially announced last Tuesday.
The third ETF by Australia’s Cosmos Asset Management, which invests in Bitcoin through the Canadian Purpose Bitcoin ETF, was announced on the same day.
A representative from Cosmos also confirmed the delay with Forkast this morning, saying the company has approval from the exchange to begin quoting and is working towards that goal.
An ETF is a financial product that tracks the price of an underlying asset as a share to be traded on stock markets, granting exposure to assets that investors may otherwise be unable to or unwilling to directly invest in.
Crypto ETFs are a burgeoning financial product with great interest to the global crypto industry, and ETF Securities said this was an isolated issue that does not reflect on the product type as a whole.
“[The reason for the delay is] just really something specific to the Australian market,” David Tuckwell, product specialist at ETF Securities, told Forkast. “I don’t think there would be impacts in other parts of the world.”
While unable to give specific reasons for the delay, Tuckwell added there were always challenges in bringing a crypto-based ETF to the market.
“This is unique to crypto because no one’s ever done this before in Australia,” he said, “so everything’s being built from scratch.”
Australian firms VanEck Australia Pty Ltd., BetaShares Capital Ltd., and Monochrome Asset Management Pty. Ltd. are still waiting for approvals to their Bitcoin ETFs.