South African firms are in advanced stages of applying for the first digital currency exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Africa. According to local reports, two local firms are set to lodge their applications with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which has rejected such an application in the past.
One of the firms seeking to list the first digital currency ETF on the JSE is DCX Capital. In a recent podcast, co-founder Earle Loxton claimed that plans are afoot to launch the first ETF in Africa’s second-largest economy. The firm is set to apply for the ETF with JSE ‘very soon,’ he revealed.
DCX Capital is currently working with its partner Easy Equities to find the right custodian before proceeding with the application.
“To get to the level where we will be compliant with the requirements of a listed instrument, we definitely need the services of a dedicated, regulated and registered custodian,” Loxton revealed.
DCX Capital currently operates EC10, a digital currency index fund that holds ten digital currencies. This could be the product that the company turns into an ETF once approved. In the U.S., Grayscale has been reportedly planning on converting its digital currency funds into ETFs as well if it ever gets the SEC’s approval.
The second company planning on applying for a similar ETF with the JSE is Sygnia, an asset management company owned by South Africa’s richest woman. According to MyBroadband, a local tech news outlet, the company is also set to apply for the ETF in the near future. However, unlike DCX Capital, Sygnia has applied for an ETF before, but the JSE shot it down.
Sygnia applied for the ETF in 2017 at the height of the ICO mania but the JSE, which is the largest stock exchange in Africa, declined the application while claiming the company wasn’t ready for digital currency products. “Unfortunately, at the last minute, the JSE decided not to proceed citing a lack of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as the reason,” CEO David Hufton said.
Hufton added, “A lot of work went into designing the actual structure of the ETF in 2017 which we can reuse. With cryptocurrencies becoming more mainstream, we are hopeful that the JSE will be more receptive to our application this time round.”