Bitcoin ETF launches for the first time on Australia's main stock exchange By Reuters

By Lewis Jackson

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched on Australia's main stock market for the first time on Thursday, as fund managers unveil products to satisfy investors returning to cryptocurrency markets after a price boom.

The VanEck ETF launched with around A$990,000 ($660,429) in assets on the Australian Stock Exchange and is the culmination of more than three years of negotiations with the ASX operator.

The fund will not own bitcoins directly, but will instead invest in the US-listed VanEck Bitcoin Trust, which launched in January. VanEck's European subsidiary also manages 12 similar cryptocurrency funds.

Investors have poured billions of dollars into cryptocurrency ETFs in the United States after regulators approved several products in January. Hong Kong followed in April with the launch of six funds, although interest there has been more muted.

VanEck Australia said in March that the green light from US regulators led to a surge in requests for similar products from brokers and financial advisers.

The price of bitcoin has nearly tripled since 2023, although prices have stagnated since a peak in March.

A competing exchange in Australia run by the local affiliate of CBOE Global Markets already hosts several bitcoin ETFs.

However, VanEck's Bitcoin ETF is the first fund to launch on the main exchange, where it will share the ticker with some of the country's best-known corporations, such as BHP and Commonwealth Bank.

($1 = 1.4990 Australian dollars)

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