Australia's first cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds had an underwhelming debut earlier this Thursday.
The Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF, ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) and ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF (EETH) all launched on Cboe Global Markets earlier today.
The three investment vehicles attracted only a combined AUD$2 million (roughly $1.37 million) on their first day. ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) was in the lead with AUD$954,925 ($655,000).
Kanish Chugh, head of distribution at ETF Securities, blamed the "relatively muted" trading volumes on the broader cryptocurrency market selloff.
Earlier today, Bitcoin careened to $25,401, the lowest level since December 2020, on the Bitstamp exchange. The cryptocurrency partially recovered to $27,851 at press time.
Chugh also pointed out that ASX Clear imposing "prohibitively expensive" margin requirements contributed to lukewarm demand. Major brokers have been pushed away from supporting the products due to 42% collateral.
Australia is not the first country to launch a Bitcoin ETF. Canada kicked off the trend last February. The Purpose Bitcoin ETF moved a record-shattering CAD $260 million ($208 million) in trading volume on its first day.
The BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF (CRYP), which was launched in Australia in November, moved $40 million to $27.7 million.
Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, says that Bitcoin was "a bull market plaything" for most investors. Now that crypto is a bear market, demand has fizzled.