India Securities Regulator Approves First Crypto-Related ETF

Crypto Trading on P2P Platforms, Telegram, and WhatsApp Dominate in India

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s securities regulator, has approved the Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF. The latter invests in major crypto companies, including Coinbase, Bitfarms, and MicroStrategy.

India’s securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has approved the first ETF that invests in cryptocurrency companies. Local media outlets report that the regulator has given Invesco’s CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund the green light.

The fund invests in several prominent companies in the crypto space, including Coinbase, Bitfarms, SBI Holdings, and MicroStrategy. The fund has performed well over the past year, with a one-year return of 89.52%.

In the product document, Invesco says it’s optimistic about the future of the asset class, writing,

As blockchain technology is still in its early days, the potential for changing the global economy is immense. Like the internet, blockchain presents an opportunity for investors who can capture this hidden potential.

CoinShares recently acquired the ETF arm of Elwood Technologies, a London-based fintech firm building digital assets trading infrastructure for institutional investors. The two entities recently partnered to launch Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain UCITS ETF (BCHN).

The approval of this ETF is the first of its kind in India, which is yet to offer a definitive stance on cryptocurrency regulation. Authorities in the nation have flip-flopped repeatedly on their opinions on the matter, but it does look like regulation may soon be arriving.

Where does India stand on crypto?

India’s securities regulator approving a crypto-related ETF is a positive sign for Indian crypto investors. The country’s youth have been extremely enthusiastic about the crypto market, and the investments continue strong despite this lack of a position by the government. India’s market has grown by a staggering 641% in the past 12 or so months.

The latest update on the status of regulation indicates that the government may classify cryptocurrencies as commodities. At the same time, the government is also working on a central bank digital currency (CBDC), trials for which could launch as soon as next month.

In what appears to be another move suggesting positive regulation, authorities are reportedly working on prohibiting irresponsible cryptocurrency ads. The information was revealed by a memo that summarized a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several stakeholders. Local cryptocurrency exchanges, including WazirX and CoinDCX, are set to meet government officials this week.

The industry itself is also flourishing, with numerous new startups and investment capital pouring in. A report issued by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and WazirX estimates a value of $241 million for the crypto-tech industry by 2030.

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