The Vienna Stock Exchange has announced that as of September 1, 2020, Bitcoin and Ethereum products can be traded on the regulated market of the Vienna Stock Exchange for the first time.  The issuer is the Swiss-based 21Shares AG, which, following its admission to Deutsche Börse XETRA in July, is now also bringing virtual currency related assets to the regulated market in Austria.
Specifically, so-called “21Shares Bitcoin ETP” (ISIN: CH0454664001) and “21 Shares Ethereum ETP” (ISIN: CH0454664027) are tradable on the regulated market of the Vienna Stock Exchange. These two financial instruments are interest-free debt securities that track the investment performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively, and not the actual virtual currencies Bitcoin and Ether.
With this listing, the Vienna Stock Exchange is expanding its range of asset classes to include virtual currencies and thus primarily addresses investors who are interested in the crypto market but want to benefit from the advantages of the regulated market such as higher security and direct settlement via a securities account.
However, direct trading of virtual currencies via an exchange such as that offered by the Stuttgart Stock Exchange in Germany is still not possible in Austria, since Bitcoin or Ethereum only serve as underlying for the bonds mentioned.
Legal Situation in Austria
Trading virtual currencies via the regulated market of the Vienna Stock Exchange will probably not be possible in the near future. Since only financial instruments within the meaning of MiFID II can be admitted to the regulated market in Austria, it is not possible to trade virtual currencies directly on a stock exchange.
The use of blockchain technology for issuing tokenized securities is, however, feasible. Stadler Völkel Attorneys at law has expertise in the field of capital market law and the issuance of tokenized securities.
If you have any questions regarding the issuance of tokenized securities or other financial instruments that make use of the blockchain technology on the capital market, we will be happy assist you with our expertise.
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Oliver Völkel | Philipp Ley