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Asset Manager Monochrome Receives Approval to Launch Spot Bitcoin ETF in Australia

Digital asset manager Monochrome has received regulatory approval from the Australian securities watchdog to offer spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

According to an official announcement, Monochrome is one of the first asset management firms to secure an Australian financial services license (AFSL) from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) for crypto-related ETFs.

Monochrome Bitcoin ETF

The firm noted that the products, dubbed the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF, give retail investors direct insured exposure and experience to the performance of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. However, the asset manager did not reveal when the product would be available for trading.

“The regulator’s approval of this license variation represents a major step forward for both the advice industry and retail investors, allowing advisers to meet the market demands of their clients when it comes to the nascent crypto-asset class,” Monochrome CEO Jeff Yew said.

Monochrome’s Bitcoin ETF plan has been in the works since February 2022. At the time, the company launched a series to provide insight into the growth of bitcoin’s investment market. The asset manager also reviewed efforts in the United States regarding the launch of a Bitcoin ETF.

While the U.S. has approved several future-based Bitcoin ETFs, the country has continued to reject all applications for a spot-based Bitcoin ETF. The latest rejection was the Grayscale Bitcoin ETF, denied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Monochrome hoped that the review would help in the launch of a Bitcoin ETF in Australia as the leading cryptocurrency matures and receives institutional recognition.

$15 Million Valuation

Monochrome was launched in early 2021 by former Binance Australia CEO Jeff Yew to push for institutional adoption of crypto assets in Australia. The asset manager is perhaps best known for its capital growth investment vehicle for wholesale investors dubbed the Monochrome Bitcoin Fund.

The company was last valued at $15 million after raising $1.8 million in a Series A funding round in September 2021. The fundraiser was led by reputable crypto entrepreneurs, including Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, Blockstream’s Samson Mow, and former Binance executives Wei Zhou and Kain Warwick.

Meanwhile, Australia’s first spot-based Bitcoin ETF, the Cosmos Purpose Ethereum Access ETF (CPET), has received a low reception since it went live on the Cboe Australia exchange on May 12, 2022.

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