Australia’s securities regulator has determined that bitcoin and ether are likely to satisfy its criteria as appropriate underlying assets for exchange-traded products (ETPs).
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Friday published its guidance for providers wishing to offer ETPs linked to the performance of cryptocurrency, following a request from market participants for feedback in June.
For crypto to be a permissible asset to back an ETP or other structured product, it must meet five criteria: a high level of institutional support and acceptance, reputable and experienced service providers to support the products, a mature spot market, regulated futures markets for trading derivatives and robust and transparent pricing mechanisms.
On this basis, bitcoin and ether “appear likely to satisfy all five factors ... to determine appropriate underlying assets for an ETP,” the ASIC said.
An exchanged-traded fund (ETF) offering exposure to crypto-focused companies provided by ETF manager BetaShares is expected to start trading in Australia soon. The ASIC findings suggest it could be followed by products offering more direct exposure to crypto in the months ahead.