Canada provides a model for how Australia’s exchange-traded fund sector could expand to offer products investing in Bitcoin, according to fund manager BetaShares.
The Canadian experience suggests a Bitcoin ETF with assets of about A$500 million (US$376 million) is possible in Australia, Alistair Mills, director of institutional business and capital markets at BetaShares, said in a webinar in Sydney Wednesday.
The first North American fund investing directly in the volatile cryptocurrency debuted in Canada in February. There are now a range of Bitcoin products there, with the two biggest having assets of more than $1 billion. The U.S. this month allowed a futures-based ETF, a development that helped propel Bitcoin to a record high.
“I don’t think there’s anything to say that if you listed one here it couldn’t grow to at least half that in a similar time frame,” Mills said.
An Australia-listed BetaShares ETF tracking global crypto-linked companies is set to launch next month once regulatory steps are finalized, he said. Cosmos Asset Management aims to launch a crypto-stocks ETF some time this year in Australia, chief executive Dan K. Annan Jr. said in the webinar.
Proponents argue Bitcoin can help diversify a portfolio and hedge challenges like inflation. But critics say digital tokens remain highly speculative and risky.