Crypto ETF in Australia

The cryptocurrency landscape in Australia is on the cusp of a significant evolution with the potential launch of the country’s first spot Bitcoin ETF by Monochrome Asset Management. This development marks a pivotal moment in Australia’s financial markets, offering investors direct exposure to Bitcoin through a regulated exchange-traded fund. As the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) greenlights the proposal and Cboe Australia reviews the application, the implications for Australia’s crypto ETF landscape are profound. Here are the key takeaways from the emergence of Monochrome’s Spot Bitcoin ETF and the regulatory hurdles it faces in Australia.

Key Takeaways

  • Monochrome Asset Management’s proposed spot Bitcoin ETF would be a first in Australia, allowing investors direct exposure to Bitcoin, differentiating it from existing ETPs that only offer indirect exposure.
  • The ASIC has authorized Monochrome’s ETF proposal, setting a new precedent for crypto asset regulation in Australia, with Cboe Australia currently reviewing the application for a potential listing by mid-2024.
  • The strategic decision by Monochrome to list with Cboe Australia over ASX reflects the firm’s alignment with Cboe’s established reputation and strategic position, potentially broadening investor access to crypto assets.

The Emergence of Monochrome’s Spot Bitcoin ETF in Australia

Monochrome’s Proposal for Direct Bitcoin Holding

Monochrome Asset Management has taken a significant step towards introducing a new investment vehicle in the Australian market. Their proposed Bitcoin ETF is designed to allow investors direct holding of Bitcoin, setting it apart from other exchange-traded products that have previously been available in Australia.

The proposed Monochrome Bitcoin ETF aims to capitalize on the growing interest in cryptocurrency, particularly as the market anticipates Bitcoin’s next halving event. This event is known to historically boost interest and could position Monochrome as a leader in the local ETF space.

The Monochrome Bitcoin ETF is not just another financial product; it represents a pioneering move in the Australian investment landscape, offering direct exposure to Bitcoin through a regulated framework.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has already given the green light to Monochrome’s proposal, and the application is currently under review by Cboe Australia. The decision to list with Cboe, despite the larger volumes offered by ASX, reflects Monochrome’s strategic approach to leverage Cboe’s expertise and reach across Asia.

Regulatory Milestones and Cboe Australia’s Review

Following the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) approval, Monochrome’s next significant step was to secure a listing exchange. The choice fell on Cboe Australia, a subsidiary of Cboe Global Markets, known for its global listings exchanges. Monochrome’s CEO, Jeff Yew, expressed optimism about a decision from Cboe Australia on their Bitcoin ETF application, anticipated before mid-year.

Monochrome’s strategic alignment with Cboe Australia is evident in their decision to list the Bitcoin ETF. The exchange’s reputation, strategic position in Asia, and access to a broader investor base were key factors influencing this pivotal move.

The switch from the initial application with ASX to Cboe Australia was a calculated move by Monochrome, reflecting their strategic vision and desired market reach. This decision underscores the importance of aligning with an exchange that shares the asset manager’s goals and can facilitate a timely launch, still aimed for the second quarter of 2024.

Strategic Decision to List with Cboe Over ASX

Monochrome Asset Management’s pivot from the ASX to Cboe Australia for its spot Bitcoin ETF listing was a calculated move, driven by strategic alignment and market reach considerations. Cboe’s established reputation and its positioning as one of the five global listings exchanges of Cboe Global Markets played a significant role in this decision.

  • Strategic Alignment: Monochrome’s vision resonates with Cboe’s market approach and investor access capabilities.
  • Market Reach: Cboe’s platform offers a broader investor base and expertise across Asia, which is crucial for tapping into the institutional demand.
  • Timely Launch: The shift to Cboe is in line with Monochrome’s scheduled launch date, ensuring no delays in their strategic plan.

Monochrome’s strategic decision underscores the importance of choosing a listing venue that not only offers a robust trading platform but also aligns with the company’s long-term goals and market expansion plans.

The firm’s CEO, Jeff Yew, anticipates a decision from Cboe Australia on the Bitcoin ETF application before mid-year, following ASIC’s approval. This move is seen as a significant step in Australia’s journey towards embracing Bitcoin as an investable asset class, with Monochrome leading the charge to meet the growing institutional interest.

Implications for Australia’s Crypto ETF Landscape

The anticipated launch of Monochrome’s spot Bitcoin ETF marks a significant milestone in Australia’s financial landscape. This pioneering move by Monochrome Asset Management is set to introduce a new investment vehicle that offers direct exposure to Bitcoin, a feature that distinguishes it from existing exchange-traded products (ETPs) on the Cboe Australia.

The implications of this development are multifaceted. For investors, it represents an opportunity for direct investment in Bitcoin through a regulated framework, potentially increasing the accessibility and legitimacy of cryptocurrency investments. For the market, it could signal the beginning of a broader acceptance and integration of crypto assets into traditional financial systems.

The direct holding approach of Monochrome’s ETF aligns with structures seen in the US, offering a transparent pathway for investors.

However, the journey to this point has not been without its challenges. Regulatory hurdles and the strategic decision to list with Cboe over ASX highlight the complexities involved in bringing such products to market. The success of Monochrome’s ETF could pave the way for future crypto-based investment products, setting a precedent for regulatory approval and market adoption in Australia.

Regulatory Hurdles and Market Dynamics for Crypto ETFs in Australia

ASIC’s Authorisation Requirements for Crypto Assets

In the evolving landscape of Australian crypto ETFs, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) plays a pivotal role. Entities aiming to manage funds with crypto assets are required to obtain a specific authorisation for handling such assets. This authorisation is a testament to the compliance of the fund with the regulatory standards set forth by ASIC.

The authorisation process is a critical step for asset managers, as it ensures that the ETFs they offer are in line with the legal framework. Monochrome’s Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) is one such example where the "crypto asset" authorisation is clearly indicated, distinguishing it from other products in the market.

The clear delineation of authorisation requirements by ASIC has set a precedent for the level of scrutiny and compliance expected in the crypto ETF space.

Asset managers who previously launched ETFs without this specific authorisation may face challenges in aligning with the current regulatory expectations. The distinction between holding a managed fund and direct crypto assets becomes significant in this context, as it affects the fund’s compliance status with ASIC’s regulations.

The Race to Launch Australia’s First Spot Bitcoin ETF

The anticipation for Australia’s first spot Bitcoin ETF is palpable, with asset managers vying for the coveted title of being the first to market. Monochrome has emerged as a frontrunner, having filed an application with Cboe Australia and expecting approval by mid-2024. This move comes on the heels of the SEC’s approval of a similar product in the US, which has ignited a competitive spirit among firms down under.

The successful launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF in Australia would mark a significant milestone in the country’s financial landscape, offering investors direct exposure to Bitcoin and potentially reshaping the crypto investment scene.

While Monochrome is poised to make history, the journey to ETF approval is multifaceted. Asset managers must navigate the regulatory waters, gaining approval from ASIC before proceeding to an exchange listing. The table below outlines the current status of Monochrome’s efforts:

Milestone Status
ASIC Approval Received
Cboe Australia Application Filed
Expected Approval Mid-2024

The race is not just about being first; it’s about setting a precedent for crypto-based financial products in Australia. As the market watches closely, the outcome of Monochrome’s application could influence the future of cryptocurrency investments in the region.

Challenges Faced by Asset Managers in ETF Approval

Asset managers in Australia face a complex set of challenges when seeking approval for crypto ETFs. The regulatory landscape is stringent, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) setting high standards for authorization. VanEck’s experience highlights the multifaceted hurdles, including both regulatory and exchange framework issues that must be addressed before listing on the ASX.

The journey to launching a crypto ETF in Australia is fraught with obstacles, from satisfying ASIC’s stringent requirements to navigating the nuances of exchange listing processes.

The competition to launch the first spot Bitcoin ETF adds another layer of complexity. Investment managers are under pressure to not only comply with regulations but also to outpace their peers in a race that has significant first-mover advantages. Monochrome’s pivot to Cboe over ASX is a strategic move that underscores the tactical decisions asset managers must make in this dynamic environment.

Here is a summary of the key challenges faced by asset managers:

  • Regulatory Approval: Securing ASIC’s authorization is a critical and challenging step.
  • Exchange Framework: Understanding and complying with the specific requirements of the chosen exchange.
  • Market Representation: Ensuring marketing materials accurately reflect the fund’s structure and holdings.
  • First-Mover Advantage: Navigating the competitive landscape to be the first to market.

While the U.S. has seen the approval of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs, Australia’s asset managers are still working through these challenges to bring their products to market.

Comparing Monochrome’s ETF to Existing ETPs

Monochrome’s ETF distinguishes itself from existing Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) in Australia by offering direct Bitcoin holding, a feature that aligns it with successful spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States. This direct approach is anticipated to provide investors with a transparent and straightforward pathway to Bitcoin exposure, setting a new precedent in the Australian market.

The strategic decision by Monochrome to list with Cboe Australia over ASX reflects a commitment to align with their market reach and vision, potentially influencing the broader crypto ETF landscape in Australia.

While existing ETPs have paved the way for crypto investments, Monochrome’s ETF is poised to be the first to allow investors to hold Bitcoin directly. This key difference is expected to address investor demands for transparency and a more tangible connection to their Bitcoin investment.


As the Australian crypto landscape evolves, the potential introduction of the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF represents a significant milestone. If approved, it would be the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the country, allowing investors direct holding of Bitcoin, a feature distinguishing it from existing ETPs that only offer exposure to crypto assets. With ASIC’s approval and Cboe Australia’s decision pending, the anticipation for a mid-2024 decision underscores the cautious yet progressive approach of Australian regulators towards crypto assets. This development not only reflects the growing demand for crypto-related financial products but also signals Australia’s commitment to fostering a regulated and innovative investment environment. The outcome of Monochrome’s application could set a precedent for the future of crypto ETFs in Australia, potentially paving the way for more such products and increased mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of Monochrome’s Spot Bitcoin ETF in Australia?

Monochrome’s Spot Bitcoin ETF, if approved, will be Australia’s first spot Bitcoin ETF that permits direct holding of Bitcoin (BTC), differentiating it from existing exchange-traded products (ETPs) that only provide exposure to spot crypto assets without direct holding.

What are the regulatory steps for launching a crypto ETF in Australia?

To launch a crypto ETF in Australia, asset managers must obtain authorisation from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for holding crypto assets and then apply for an exchange listing, such as with Cboe Australia, where Monochrome has applied for its ETF.

Why did Monochrome choose Cboe Australia over ASX for its ETF listing?

Monochrome chose Cboe Australia over ASX due to Cboe’s established reputation, strategic position in Asia, broader investor access, and alignment with Monochrome’s strategic goals, as well as the regulatory and exchange hurdles present at ASX.


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