Australian asset manager Monochrome plans to launch the nation’s first spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that holds physical bitcoin.

Monochrome filed an application with securities exchange Cboe Australia to list its flagship bitcoin ETF product. The firm expects approval by mid-2024.

Unlike previous bitcoin exchange-traded products in Australia, Monochrome’s ETF would hold actual bitcoin. This structure mirrors the highly successful spot bitcoin ETFs in the United States.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has already greenlighted Monochrome’s proposal. Cboe Australia is now reviewing the application.

„We anticipate a decision from Cboe Australia about the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF before the middle of 2024,“ said CEO Jeff Yew. „The Monochrome Bitcoin ETF stands to be the first Bitcoin ETF in Australia authorized to hold Bitcoin directly.“

If approved, the ETF would provide local investors with direct exposure to bitcoin through a regulated investment vehicle. Monochrome said it chose Cboe for its strategic expertise and extensive reach across Asia.

The firm had originally planned to list on rival exchange ASX, but it has since pivoted to Cboe’s platform.

Australia joining the spot bitcoin ETF movement could further validate Bitcoin as an investable asset class, as Monochrome is aiming to tap surging institutional demand as the Bitcoin industry matures.

The fund’s launch would arrive just before Bitcoin’s next halving event, likely boosting interest. As the first to hold physical bitcoin, Monochrome could quickly dominate the local ETF space in Australia. 

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