Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the nation’s financial industry watchdog has approved the launching of a Bitcoin fund that will be operated by a microfinance firm known as Raiz.
Raiz is a micro-investing firm which helps Australians to invest their change from daily purchases and is now rolling on a fund that has Bitcoin exposure. This means that the more than 300,000 registered Raiz clients will have a chance to invest in Bitcoin.
According to Cointelegraph, Raiz operates in the same way Acorns operates in the US, by taking the extra change from the clients’ daily purchases and invests it in different investment offerings mostly comprising of exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Raiz received the nod to launch the offering from ASIC after several months of pushing to be granted the permission. The ASIC relief was the final hurdle and now the firm is poised to launch the product by June 2020.
Speaking to the Block, Raiz Invest CEO, George Lucas, said that only 5% of the incoming Bitcoin fund will go directly to Bitcoin exposure while the rest will to ETFs, stocks, bonds and other forms of assets. Lucas said:
“In this asset allocation, bitcoin is treated as similar to an alternative asset class.”
Lucas also revealed that Gemini will be the fund’s custodian but said that extra details about the partnership will be released during the launching event slated for the next half of the year.
Raiz is listed in Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and currently manages about AU$445 million which is equivalent to about US$306 million. The fintech firm also boasts of 211,657 clients who are active.
Lucas stated that with almost half a billion under the firm’s management, it is a sign that the firm performed better last year and the prospects can only get better this year.
At the moment, Raiz provides six portfolios and the minimum investment amount is marked at AU$5 or US$3.5. The firm expects competition from DigitalX, Bundil, and Donut among others who offer similar services.