CFS offers advisers crypto ETF access

CFS blackrock platforms cryptocurrency crypto assets

15 April 2024
| By Shy-Ann Arkinstall |
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Colonial First State (CFS) has announced the addition of the BlackRock iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF to its investment menu in an effort to meet client demand for access to the cryptocurrency asset class.

According to CFS, the ETF will expand the availability of exposure to the asset because it enables investors to access bitcoin within a traditional brokerage account, without having to buy, store, or manage it directly.

In January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the approval of several spot bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) shares, including BlackRock’s, bucking its historical trend of consistently denying approval for bitcoin ETF requests.

BlackRock had initially filed an application with the SEC in June 2023 to register the first ever US spot bitcoin ETF, the iShares Bitcoin Trust, which would track the price of bitcoin directly.

Following SEC approval, the BlackRock ETF opened on 5 January 2024 and has since attracted considerable interest in the market as the first product of its kind to become available.

CFS said that the inclusion of the BlackRock ETF on CFS Edge provides a unique opportunity for advisers.

“Given the volatility associated with this asset type, the BlackRock iShares Bitcoin Trust is only available on CFS Edge for investors who have a financial adviser,” CFS said. The addition of the bitcoin ETF, it said, reflects a “further expansion of the CFS Edge investment menu”.

CFS group executive - distribution, Bryce Quirk, said clients have expressed interest in the asset class, and providing it is part of the company’s efforts to grow their offerings.

“Advisers continue to share feedback that their clients have varying investment needs. They have asked us to expand the breadth of asset classes they can access via Edge,” he said.

“We are pleased to build on our existing relationship with BlackRock by offering their iShares Bitcoin Trust to advised Australians with an appetite for these types of assets.

“This is one of many planned inclusions to broaden investment options for advisers and their clients.”

When CFS launched the new platform last year, the firm noted access to international equities across 15 stock exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, as a major selling point. 

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