Bitcoin ETFs were the talk of the town during the bear market, with multiple companies applying to issue one only to get turned down by regulators over and over again.
Many Bitcoin investors have been awaiting such an exchange-traded product to be launched in order to give institutions an easy and straightforward method to gain exposure to the asset; hoping it would boost demand and price.
Although this will be an “exchange-traded” derivative it is not an ETF (exchange-traded fund) but rather an exchange-traded bearer bond which will be 100% backed by digital Bitcoins held in the custody of the licensed BitGo Trust.
The shares will be issued by the London-based ETC group and they already have a name for it: “BTCE”. Ironically and in an unrelated manner, that is very similar to the name of a now defunct Bitcoin exchange BTC-e (2011-2015).
BTCE vs ETF
The exchange-traded product has already been approved by the German financial regulator ‘BaFin’ and will lower the barrier of entry to BTC for investors who have been stopped because of technical difficulties (private keys, storage, etc.).
The cost of this product will run investors much higher than the typical 0.1%-0.6% ETF annual fee as the expense ratio is at 2%.
Bradley Duke, CEO of ETC Group, said, “The crypto sector has been held back by concerns about complexity, accessibility and governance. With BTCE, we are transporting bitcoin into the fold of mainstream, regulated financial markets. Investors get the benefits of trading and owning bitcoin through a regulated security while having the optionality of redeeming bitcoin if they choose”.