ASX set to launch Australia’s first spot Bitcoin ETF

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The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will debut its first exchange-traded fund directly investing in Bitcoin (BTC) on June 20.

The VanEck Bitcoin ETF to launch on ASX

According to reports, the first Bitcoin ETF to debut on Australia’s primary stock market is the VanEck Bitcoin ETF.

This spot ETF allows investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin through a regulated, transparent, and well-established investment vehicle.

Ever since the Gary Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlighted the U.S.’s first spot Bitcoin ETF in January, other regions have been scampering to join the bandwagon. 

The launch of the VanEck Bitcoin ETF in Australia is anticipated to attract substantial capital inflows from the country’s sizable pension fund market as investors seek to diversify portfolios with exposure to digital assets.

Globally, the listing of Bitcoin ETFs is gaining momentum as jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Australia have shown interest in adopting similar products. 

Sydney-based BetaShares Holdings Pty and DigitalX Ltd. are preparing to list on the main Australian board, following initial listings on CBOE Australia. While these early ventures had varied success, expectations are growing that the trend will gain traction due to the exchange’s higher visibility and the recent surge in Bitcoin’s value.

Hong Kong also approved its initial batch of crypto-related spot ETFs last April, positioning itself as a potential digital asset leader.

The approval of the VanEck Bitcoin ETF aligns with proposed legislation from Australia’s ruling party to regulate crypto custody, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), crypto taxation, and licensing of digital asset service providers. This regulatory framework is anticipated to foster a stable and clear environment conducive to the continued growth of the cryptocurrency market in Australia.

Australia tightens crypto tax compliance measures

In related news, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has initiated a broad effort to enhance tax compliance within the cryptocurrency sector by requesting personal and transaction data from crypto exchanges, covering up to 1.2 million user accounts.

This move is part of the ATO’s strategy to combat potential tax evasion in the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market. The ATO aims to identify traders who may have underreported their crypto-related activities, such as converting digital assets into fiat currency or using them for transactions.

According to the ATO’s notice, the data sought includes a comprehensive range of personal details from users, including names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, and social media profiles. Additionally, the tax authority is requesting transaction specifics such as bank accounts, wallet addresses, and details of the cryptocurrencies traded.

To mitigate financial risks and shield its populace from gambling-related issues, the Australian government has implemented a prohibition on the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting.

This measure, effective as of June 11, seeks to prevent individuals from gambling with borrowed funds or using digital currencies, thus promoting responsible gambling practices nationwide.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is exchanging hands for $66,177, representing a 4.6% decline on the weekly timeframe, according to CoinGecko data. 

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