Today 15 August, Jacobi Asset Management announced the listing of Europe’s first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Euronext Amsterdam. Europe now stands ahead of the US in potentially seeing the trade of a spot Bitcoin ETF.
The listing comes two years after the ETF was first approved. Tagged ‘Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF’, the fund boasts itself as the first digital asset fund compliant with SFDR Article 8 through its decarbonisation strategy. This was made possible through Jacobi’s implementation of a verifiable built-in Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) solution.
The REC solution has been created in collaboration with digital asset platform Zumo. This allows institutional investors to efficiently meet ESG goals while accessing the benefits of the flagship cryptocurrency.
The new ETF will trade under the ticker ‘BCOIN’ and will be regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The London-based Jacobi Asset Management first won approval for the fund in October 2021. Back then, it had planned to list it in 2022. However, the same did not happen due to inopportune circumstances in the digital asset market.
Custodial services for the fund are provided by Fidelity Digital Assets. Here, Flow Traders would operate as market makers and Jane Street and DRW would be authorised participants.
Jacobi’s offering of the ETF would be different from other exchange-traded notes (ETNs), often referred to by the umbrella term exchange-traded products (ETP), in the market. While ETN investors own a debt security, the ETF gives power to shareholders to own a portion of the product’s underlying shares.
CEO of Jacobi Asset Management, Martin Bednall commented on the feat saying: “It is exciting to see Europe moving ahead of the US in opening up Bitcoin investing for institutional investors who want safe, secure access to the benefits of digital assets using familiar and regulated structures like our ETF……Jacobi is proud to be supported by Tier1 partners at the forefront of this digital asset market evolution whilst also pioneering an innovative, environmentally sound solution for European investors.”
The ETF which offers an ESG-aligned digital asset solution empowers users to be environmentally conscious ETF buyers. While they can consider Bitcoin within their investment portfolio, it also enables them to independently audit the environmental claims.
Talking about the same, the announcement further explained: “Jacobi’s solution differs from carbon offsetting products by quantifying the electricity consumption attributable to Bitcoin in the ETF and purchasing equivalent RECs, the standardised instrument for procuring clean power. This provides digital proof of RECs, transparently recorded on a blockchain.”
While the US has seen multiple spot Bitcoin ETF applications, its regulatory watchdog – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – has often been rough on them, serving rejections. The recent listing of Jacobi’s ETF could potentially place Europe ahead of the US in trading a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Nevertheless, ever since the refiling of asset management giant BlackRock’s (BLK) application for a spot Bitcoin fund, the industry has been hoping for a positive response from the SEC. It has also motivated others to send in applications featuring “surveillance-sharing” agreements designed to guard against market manipulation.