Key points:

  • The VanEck Bitcoin ETF has begun trading on the Australian Securities Exchange.
  • VanEck Australia reports increased interest in cryptocurrency ETFs from brokers and advisors following the approval of ETFs in the US.
  • The SEC has closed its investigation into the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain protocol.

A bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund has debuted on Australia’s main stock market. This was made possible thanks to the efforts of fund managers who are seeking to attract investors who are newly interested in the cryptocurrency market after a recent period of price growth.

VanEck debuts on ASX

The VanEck Bitcoin ETF made its long-awaited debut on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today. The launch of the fund, which saw an asset placement of approximately A$990,000 ($660,429), marks the culmination of more than three years of discussions between VanEck and the ASX operator.

Notably, the VanEck Bitcoin ETF won’t directly own Bitcoin. Instead, it will invest in the US-registered VanEck Bitcoin Trust, launched in January 2024. VanEck’s European subsidiary already manages 12 similar cryptocurrency funds.

The VanEck Bitcoin ETF’s debut on the ASX comes amid growing global interest in cryptocurrency ETFs. In the US, investors have poured billions of dollars into these products after regulators approved several of them in January 2024. In April 2024, Hong Kong followed the US lead by launching six cryptocurrency ETFs, but interest there was more muted.

VanEck Australia reported that since the approval of cryptocurrency ETFs in the US in March 2024, there has been a significant increase in inquiries from brokers and financial advisers for similar products.

It is worth noting that the price of Bitcoin has almost tripled since 2023, but after reaching its peak in March 2024, the growth rate has slowed down.

US regulator closes investigation into Ethereum 2.0

In a landmark event for the cryptocurrency industry, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has completed its investigation into the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain protocol. Cryptocurrency firm Consensys made the announcement Tuesday evening in a post on social media platform X.

The decision comes in a surprising turn after Consensys filed a lawsuit against the SEC in April, seeking an injunction against its efforts to regulate Ethereum. Earlier that month, the SEC approved applications by Nasdaq, CBOE and NYSE to list spot ether ETFs, a surprise victory for the cryptocurrency industry, which had expected the SEC to reject those applications.

Despite the termination of the investigation, Consensys announced its intention to continue the lawsuit. The firm intends to seek a ruling from the court that will definitively clarify whether the SEC has the authority to regulate decentralized programming interfaces based on Ethereum or the Ethereum blockchain.

Consensys founder Joseph Lubin on Wednesday called the SEC’s decision to close the investigation a “significant victory” for Ethereum.