The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is seeking public feedback on Exchange Traded Cryptoasset (ETP) products and says they are aware of the growing interest and demand for their launch in regulated Australian markets.

In an advisory document released on June 30, the regulator said that its highest priority is to assess whether the “unique and ever-changing characteristics” of cryptoasset ETPs can consistently meet existing obligations. Given this complexity and the rapid pace of change in the industry, ASIC notes that it considers it necessary to conduct extensive consultations to assess two important issues:

“(A) whether these products can meet existing ETP expectations, including whether cryptocurrencies are suitable underlying assets, whether cryptocurrencies can be reliably valued, and how cryptocurrencies should be classified under the underlying asset rules; and (b) how product issuers can ensure that these products comply with our regulations, including with respect to storage, risk management and disclosure. ”
The ASIC document states that the regulator does not believe that all cryptocurrencies currently serve as appropriate underlying assets for ETPs, given its assessment of the maturity of the industry’s spot market and the level of regulation in the futures market. However, the regulator is open to approving ETP cryptocurrencies that can meet all relevant evaluation criteria. Here the regulator notes:

“At the moment, in our opinion, the only cryptocurrencies that can meet these factors are Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).”
The ASIC initiative appears to have been driven by both the recent listing of Ethereum ETP on the Toronto Stock Exchange – as ASIC clearly notes in the paper – and the Australian Stock Exchange’s (ASX) current review of several ETP cryptography applications.

In recent months, ASICs have become increasingly active in reaching out to domestic blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, trying to gain trust and do business with the crypto economy. However, the regulator has been criticized by some of these firms for an apparent lack of transparency in the existing rules and obligations of crypto companies.

In its statement, ASIC emphasizes that how cryptocurrencies themselves are classified and regulated in Australia is a matter for the government. The Senate’s ad hoc committee for Australia is examining the possibility of developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto- and digital assets, and the ASIC emphasizes that the document “does not seek to anticipate any decision the committee may make.”

RELATED: VanEck and BetaShares Apply for Australian Crypto ETFs as Family Offices Buy BTC

Public feedback must be sent to ASIC by July 27th. Respondents can submit their answers openly, anonymously or under a pseudonym.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, BetaShares founder and CEO Alex Vinokur answered an ASIC advisory question on whether it is appropriate to offer retail investors access to the cryptoassets that underpin ETPs through the licensed Australian market. Vinokur said that BetaShares, as a local provider of ETP and other ASX-traded funds, believes that this approach will provide consumers with better protection than direct access through exchanges.

Source: CoinTelegraph

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