South African Fund Manager Plans Country’s First Bitcoin ETF

South African asset management company, Sygnia, has expressed their intention to apply to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to launch the country’s first Bitcoin Exchange-Traded-Fund (ETF).

The plan was made public by Sygnia’s CEO David Hufton in an interview with local media publication, MyBroadband.

The asset manager first attempted to launch a Bitcoin ETF in 2017, but the plan was disrupted by a “last minute decision.”

Commenting on why their earlier attempt was futile, Hutson said: “Unfortunately, at the last minute, the JSE decided not to proceed, citing a lack of regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as the reason.”

The then director of issuer regulation at JSE, John Burke, mentioned that the JSE was concerned about the “robustness and transparency of the various cryptocurrency spot markets,” which was why they refused to approve all cryptocurrency listings, including the Bitcoin ETF.

Fortunately, the current director of issuer regulation at the JSE Andre Visser has decided to consider the plan According to Visser, there are, however, “important conditions to be addressed before it (JSE) would allow a cryptocurrency product listing.”

Some protocols would have to be observed, such as involving other regulatory bodies like the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) as well as the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Regardless, Hutson hopes that this will be a game-changer. “”With cryptocurrencies becoming more mainstream, we are hopeful that the JSE will become more receptive to our application this time around,” he said.

There has been speculation as to whether Sygnia can list its Bitcoin ETF on the A2X stock exchange if the JSE disproves it.

Commenting on the issue, Kevin Brady A2X CEO said: “We are unable to offer primary listings for now of any asset class.”

But according to Brady’s words, any crypto ETF which has a primary listing on either regulated local exchanges or A2X approved international exchange is likely to get a secondary listing on A2X.

Sygnia is not the only asset management company that wants to launch a bitcoin ETF on the JSE, DCX capital also intends to.

According to Michael Jordan, founder of DCX capital, DCX capital has partnered with investment platform company Easy Equities to aid their plan. Although they are yet to submit their application, they hope to become the first listed South African Bitcoin ETF.

In a similar development, Coinfomania also reported that one of the world’s first Bitcoin ETFs hit the $1 billion mark barely two months after its launch, highlighting increased mainstream demand for Bitcoin.