Block debut opens the ASX gates for other crypto listings

Investors can get exposure to the cryptocurrency market right now, of course, through the Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF (Forex Trading Fund).

I don’t think currency speculation is a bad thing, we have with gold we have that with oil futures, we have a bunch of these asset classes.

Max Cunningham from ASX

Cunningham hints that ETFs are a big focus. “We are in the process of finalizing what we believe the underlying bitcoin, and other types of crypto assets, will look like in the ETF space.”

Launched in November last year, Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF provides exposure to global companies listed in the crypto economy.

This includes crypto-brokerage Coinbase, Bitcoin miners, and other companies that are helping to build the cryptocurrency infrastructure — the so-called picks and shovels providers for the crypto rush.

“It is designed to capture publicly traded companies around the world that are building the infrastructure that allows the crypto economy to have an impact,” says Matt Hogan of Bitwise Asset Management. Hogan helped design the index fund.

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Picks and shovels in the bitcoin mining sector — which is the equivalent of investing in mining and mining equipment suppliers in a traditional economy — is a theme ASX is adopting as it seeks exposure to cryptocurrency for investors.

“There’s a group of people in all of those picks and scoops companies that we’ve partnered with. I might add, quality operators, with proven business models with revenue, and strong management teams,” says Cunningham.

But Block/Afterpay’s debut later this month will give investors instant access to a group with a large crypto business — it generated $1.8 billion in revenue from bitcoin trading in its most recent quarterly results.

Block 8000 Bitcoin owns and is developing a wallet for storing Bitcoin, which is an open, decentralized platform for the exchange of Bitcoin.

The question is what companies will you follow?

ASX isn’t naming any companies it’s talking to, but there are contenders that have completed recent funding rounds with an initial public offering expected this year.

Kieran Warwick, 32, has joined the ranks of the nation’s billionaire thanks to Illuvium.credit:Louie Davis

This includes Tasmania-based Firmus Grid. It is backed by the founder of Sino Gold, Nick Curtis, who was also a key player in the Lynas group. The company is marketing itself as a renewable energy-based cloud service provider and a bitcoin miner.

As ASX finally embraces crypto investing, recent comments from Illuvium co-founder Kieran Warwick — in a podcast with Jarden Group analyst Elise Kennedy — highlight challenges as the market operator tries to determine what investor risk it is willing to accept.

Like Animoca, Illuvium is focused on giving players true digital property rights for the first time. But first you have to play the game. “We’re valued at nearly $8 billion right now, and our game isn’t out yet,” Warwick told the podcast.

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