Bitcoin ETF launch in Australia has been delayed


On April 27, ETF Securities and 21 Shares were scheduled to launch Australia’s first bitcoin spot ETF, however, the product’s listing has been postponed.

Since both the corporate regulator and the national clearinghouse, ASX Clear, had previously granted the ETF its go-ahead, a notification from the Cboe Australian exchange explaining the delay came as a shock.

Hamish Treleaven, chief risk officer of ASX, remarked at the time, “We are now at our minimal number of clearing participants and that indicates we are set to go.”

As a result of standard checks and balances, says Cboe, the delay is unavoidable. Cboe said in a statement on Tuesday that “standard inspections prior to the opening of trade” were still being done.

However, according to the Australian Financial Review, “a prominent prime broker” is to blame for the delay.

Multiple market sources voiced irritation with the five-month permission procedure for the projected $1 billion influx, according to an AFR article. While Cboe quickly positioned this decision as a standard process.

A “primary” or “executing” broker, according to AFR, was to blame for the snarl, as the company explained. The market maker, a designated organisation responsible for setting the ETF’s bid and ask prices, needs the permission of this service provider in order to run a working marketplace.

Cosmos Asset Management, another issuer that will launch a bitcoin ETF on the same day, allegedly claimed, “Cosmos AM has clearance from the exchange to initiate quoting and we’re working towards that objective.”

According to Cosmos sources, they are hoping that the idea of purchasing units from the current Purpose Bitcoin ETF registered on the Toronto Stock Exchange, rather than real bitcoins, could be more acceptable to the prime broker, which would enable them to launch before their rivals.

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