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MAR 12, 2024

Mudrex to introduce U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs to Indian investors

by CoinNess Global

Indian cryptocurrency investment platform Mudrex has unveiled plans to provide access to U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for investors within the world’s most populous country.

Serving Indian institutional investors

This initiative, as disclosed by CEO and co-founder Edul Patel in discussion with local media, marks a particularly significant milestone for Indian institutional investors who previously lacked direct access to spot Bitcoin ETFs, which were predominantly available to retail investors through U.S. stock investing firms.
In its initial phase, Mudrex intends to list the top four BTC ETFs from prominent entities including BlackRock, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton. While eleven BTC ETF products currently exist in the United States, most commentators agree that there will be a consolidation with the majority unlikely to survive in the long run.
Mudrex will ensure compliance by being registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of India. The company already provides clients with access to a diverse selection of over 350 cryptocurrencies and crypto baskets, coupled with the provision of actionable insights to help clients reach investment decisions effectively.
Patel outlined the rationale behind the product offering, stating:“Seeing the increasing demand for Bitcoin spot ETFs and user requests on our platform in the past few months, we have decided to launch it for Indian investors.”

Purchased under Liberalized Remittance Scheme

Mudrex ensures actual transactions are processed through broker partners in the U.S., while its Indian subsidiary facilitates the spot Bitcoin ETF service. This development unfolds amidst a nuanced regulatory environment in India, where regulatory bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Ministry's Intelligence Unit hold varying stances on cryptocurrency.
While the RBI remains cautious about crypto, the Finance Ministry's Intelligence Unit has registered numerous Indian crypto service providers and imposed rigorous taxation policies. Patel expanded on the alignment of spot Bitcoin ETFs with the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS), a framework that simplifies overseas investments for Indian investors.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prescribes a limit of $250,000 per year for overseas investments by Indians under the LRS. In line with that, Mudrex is facilitating a minimum investment of $5,000 and a maximum of $250,000. Accessing spot Bitcoin ETFs through Mudrex under the LRS framework offers a more tax-efficient avenue compared to domestic crypto exchanges in India.
Among Mudrex's clientele, comprising approximately 350 institutions, Patel reveals that around 20 have initiated the process of joining the platform for spot BTC ETF investments. With an anticipated average ticket size of $110,000, this demonstrates a growing appetite among institutional investors for exposure to Bitcoin ETFs facilitated through Mudrex's platform.
This move by Mudrex is interesting when contrasted with recent comments made by RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, who suggested that the central bank wasn’t in favor of the offering of such products in India despite the decision by the U.S. authorities to permit spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Hong Kong is working towards the approval of such products while hoping to get out in front of the competition by being the first to launch a similar Ethereum-based product. Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange announced on March 11 that it intends to commence accepting applications for Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded notes (ETN).
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