Bitcoin (BTC) continues to draw close to mainstream adoption, after an effort to offer the cryptocurrency as an investment in Australia received regulatory approval.
Raiz, a fintech startup that offers micro-investment opportunities to users has reportedly secured the regulatory green light from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to provide its users with a new retail fund with exposure to bitcoin.
Per a report by the Australian Financial Review, the new bitcoin fund by Raiz which is expected to go live within the first half of this year marks a turnaround after the company had initially hesitated to offer any crypto-related products despite being in the fintech space.
Raiz reportedly has $445 million in assets under management from 211,000 paying clients, with customer accounts on the platform topping 300,000 as of December 2019. The startup’s app has accumulated over 1 million downloads, with a business model that helps clients to invest their digital spare change from micro-purchases, an ideal option for retail consumers.
Notably, the new Bitcoin Fund by Raiz will give users a chance to allocate at up to 5% of their investment portfolio on the platform to Bitcoin (BTC) while a more substantial chunk, 95%, would go to exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Is There a Growing Appetite for Bitcoin in Australia?
While a 5% allocation may not seem outrageous especially from the perspective of Bitcoin proponents, the latest move by Raiz is applaudable seems it arguably marks the first of such in Australia, and could open the way for more fund managers to launch such products.
The fact that it also comes off the back of an earlier warning from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) against self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) that invested about 90% of their retirement fund in Bitcoin suggests that there is a healthy appetite for the cryptocurrency in Australia.
In the report about SMSFs investing in crypto, Coinfomania had noted that these funds contributed a significant growth area for the crypto-related businesses in Australia since they collectively managed $700 billion (AUS$7 billion) as a combined asset.