21Shares and ETF Securities launch bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Australia

Swiss-based crypto ETP issuer 21Shares, with USD3 billion in assets, and ETF Securities have launched two funds, designed the firms say, to offer simple, cost-effective and direct access to cryptocurrency investments. 

The firms write that ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF is the first Australian ETF to invest directly in bitcoin, and ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF is the first to invest directly in ether.

In total, 21Shares offers over 130 listings with more than 30 products, including the world's only ETP tracking Binance, four crypto index baskets, and two ETP with investor staking rewards (Tezos and Solana). Its products are listed on 10 regulated European and Swiss trading exchanges. 

21Shares writes that both funds will list on CBOE Exchange (formerly Chi-X). ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) will track the price of bitcoin in Australian dollars. It is fully backed by bitcoin held in cold storage by Coinbase. ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF (EETH) will track the Australian dollar price of ether, which is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. It is fully backed by ether held in cold storage by Coinbase.

Hany Rashwan, 21Shares founder, says: “I think most of it was operational issues or we would have listed much earlier but from the regulators’ perspective we had wonderful conversations.” 

Rashwan confirms that Australia is the eighth country to launch a spot bitcoin ETF. “Our experience of running the longest standing, physically backed bitcoin ETP was helpful, so we could share our experience from Switzerland and the rest of Europe.” 

Rashwan says that 21Shares is focused on creating retail accessible crypto products with institutional grade quality. “Everyone out there deserves a safe, affordable professional exposure to crypto,” he says. “Our mission is to build bridges into the crypto world. The biggest thing is that it is Australia’s first bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs and this is only the beginning of our product suite there.”

ETF Securities Head of Distribution Kanish Chugh says bitcoin has been the best performing asset over the past 10 years and ether has been one of the top performing assets over the past five years. “They may be used as an alpha tilts or side bets in a portfolio. They can also be bought as portfolio diversifiers, as they are completely different asset and uncorrelated to shares, bonds and commodities.”

Chugh says that for investors looking for exposure to cryptocurrencies, investment via EBTC and EETH overcomes the pitfalls of the cryptocurrency market, including low exchange quality, weak custody arrangements, vulnerability to hacking and the loss of private keys and passwords.

The net asset value of EBTC and EETH units is calculated by multiplying the coin entitlement of every unit by the price of underlying cryptocurrency as measured by CryptoCompare at 3pm Central European Time, converted into Australian dollars.

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