The Australian financial markets watchdog seeks public comment on crypto-based exchange-traded products (ETPs) as demand for such retail investment vehicles rises.
On Wednesday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a consultation document on ‘crypto-assets as underlying assets for ETPs and other financial products,’ Finance Magnates reports.
These products have distinct characteristics and hazards that market participants and product issuers must be aware of, according to the regulator.
What the report entails
The consultation document requests specific comment on identifying crypto-assets that are acceptable underlying assets and developing reasonable pricing, custody, risk management, and transparency practices.
Cathie Armour, Commissioner of ASIC, issued a statement:
“The proposals set out good practices for market operators and product issuers regarding crypto-asset ETP’s and other investment vehicles that provide retail investors with exposure to crypto-assets.”
The Australian regulator will seek input until July 27 before issuing a feedback report. It also intends to release “final information” on good market practices.
“Market operators and product issuers need to be mindful of meeting their existing regulatory obligations when creating, operating, and allowing such products, so they can be facilitated in a way that maintains investor protections and Australia’s fair, orderly and transparent markets.”
While Australia is currently in the consultation stage for crypto ETP approval, similar products have flourished in other countries, mainly Europe. Several European stock exchanges have offered crypto-linked ETPs, and these products are becoming increasingly popular.
One of the key goals for the crypto sector is to acquire permission for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, which has remained elusive after years of effort.
Australia’s crypto sentiments
Despite crypto adoption growing in Australia, the dangers connected with cryptocurrencies and their volatility are the biggest obstacle to adoption. As of June 2021, 43% of Aussies considering crypto volatility a significant barrier to acquiring them, a 14% increase over the same response in a January, according to a poll based on new data collated by Finder.com.au.
Meanwhile, Jane Hume, Australia’s Finance Services Minister, has made it very apparent that the government has no intention to severely limit cryptocurrencies in the nation.
Hume stated that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and will grow into a significant asset class, but investing in high-risk assets does not necessitate stringent regulation; instead, it is a question of personal responsibility.
ASIC accepting a crypto ETP could eventually lead to further adoption and trust in digital assets as a result.