The first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in North America has been approved to launch in Canada. Purpose Bitcoin ETF, an alternative mutual fund, is expected to list and trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. With this approval, the U.S. has fallen behind Canada in approving a bitcoin ETF.
First Bitcoin ETF Approved in North America
The Ontario Securities Commission approved a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) called Purpose Bitcoin ETF on Thursday. The fund’s filing describes that “This ETF is an alternative mutual fund” that “invests in and holds substantially all of its assets in long-term holdings of the digital currency bitcoin.”
The fund manager, Purpose Investments Inc., confirmed Thursday that it has been cleared by Canadian securities regulators to launch Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which the company says is “the first direct custody bitcoin ETF in the world.” Purpose Investments is an asset management company with more than $10 billion in assets under management, its website details. The company described:
The ETF will be the first in the world to invest directly in physically settled bitcoin, not derivatives, allowing investors easy and efficient access to the emerging asset class of cryptocurrency without the associated risk of self-custody within a digital wallet.
Purpose Bitcoin ETF has been conditionally approved to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), subject to listing requirements, and will be “offered on a continuous basis,” the filing adds. Investors can buy and sell these bitcoin ETF units on the TSX through registered brokers or dealers where they reside.
The fund is offering an unlimited number of Canadian dollar-denominated ETF currency-hedged units (ticker symbol BTCC), Canadian dollar-denominated ETF non-currency hedged units (ticker symbol BTCC.B), and U.S. dollar-denominated ETF non-currency hedged units (ticker symbol BTCC.U).
Purpose Investments explained that the fund’s bitcoin holdings are kept in cold storage, with Gemini Trust Company LLC as sub-custodian and CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company as fund administrator.
Crypto Community’s Reactions
Many people in the crypto community are ecstatic to hear about this bitcoin ETF approval. Synaptic Ventures partner Marc van der Chijs tweeted: “The first bitcoin ETF and it’s in Canada. Unbelievable, it is really happening.”
Twitter user Mags, whose profile says she helped launch 3iq’s bitcoin fund on TSX, explained:
A bitcoin ETF is different from Grayscale’s GBTC and other ‘closed-end’ bitcoin funds on the TSX (3iq’s QBTC and CI Galaxy’s BTCG.U). ETFs issue units on a continuous basis. This should help w/ the premiums these funds/trusts trade at vs NAV (due 2 demand for limited units).
In addition, she noted: “In Canada, the ‘only’ way to hold bitcoin in our RRSP, TFSA, & RESP accounts is via the TSX listed bitcoin funds & this soon to trade ETF. We have tax free gains in a TFSA (a win wrt BTC) … The US has tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs or 401k’s that an ETF would be eligible for.”
Gabor Gurbacs, the digital asset strategist and director at Vaneck and MVIS, whose firm has a bitcoin ETF proposal filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), wrote:
Congratulations to Canadian regulators for approving bitcoin ETF products. Very sensible move and it’s great for markets, investors & capital formation. At the same time, I am sad to see the U.S. falling far behind in bitcoin ETP approval & digital assets business in general.
Do you think the U.S. SEC will follow Canadian regulators’ example and approve a bitcoin ETF soon? Let us know in the comments section below.