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Senator Bragg defends domestic crypto ETFs

In a letter to ASIC, Liberal senator Andrew Bragg has welcomed foreign crypto ETF competition but not before domestic products have become widely available.

Bragg asked the regulator to confirm it will not provide an uneven playing field for foreign asset managers.

For some time, the senator has championed cryptocurrency and campaigned for Australia to become a leader in digital assets.

Pertinently he's chaired the senate committee on Australia as a technology and financial centre and will implement its recommendations which treasurer Josh Frydenberg described as "the most significant reforms to our payment systems in 25 years".

"It would be a very regrettable outcome if foreign exchange traded funds with direct exposure to cryptocurrency were widely available before domestic products," Bragg wrote to ASIC chair Joseph Longo.

"I am not a protectionist. I welcome foreign competition in Australia. But this should not occur before Australian products are admitted to the market."

He continued: "As we've discussed, the Parliament has done a good deal of work on digital assets and cryptocurrency. My strong view is there are benefits to Australia and its people from adopting digital assets."

"But I do not want our regulator or quasi-monopoly market operator to undercut national policy."

Cosmos Asset management and ETF Securities had both expected to list the first ETF on the Cboe Australia platform on April 27. However, due to issues with a downstream service provider, both firms encountered unexpected delays.

Bragg stated he'd be grateful if ASIC could advise what timetable would be forthcoming on admitting new direct exposure products through proposed licensing obligations.

Read more: ASICAndrew BraggCboe AustraliaCosmos Asset ManagementETF SecuritiesJoseph LongoJosh Frydenberg