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Australia’s Financial Watchdog Says Bitcoin ETP Could Create ‘Risk,’ Seeks Feedback

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ASIC said it is attempting to evaluate whether cryptos are appropriate underlying assets for an exchange-traded product.
Australia needs to tread carefully should it eventually launch a crypto exchange-traded product (ETP), the country’s financial regulator said Wednesday.

In a consultation paper from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the regulator is reaching out to market participants for feedback on whether crypto underlying products can meet existing ETP expectations.

ASIC said it is attempting to evaluate whether cryptos are appropriate underlying assets, whether they could be reliably priced, and how they should be classified with respect to underlying asset rules, according to the paper.

The paper seeks feedback in two main areas on how an ETP may affect the market including compliance costs and effects on competition. ASIC’s request for feedback comes as the Australian Securities Exchange, one of the country’s major bourses, is considering applications for the launch of a domestic ETP by year’s end.
“At this point in time, in our view, the only crypto-assets that are likely to satisfy these factors are bitcoin and ether,” the regulator said.

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