Tired of Waiting for Bitcoin ETF? U.S. Investors Now Have Access to a ‘Soft’ Swedish Alternative

News and Analysis

An exchange traded note (ETN) that tracks Bitcoin and targets U.S. investors is now listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. As Bloomberg reported Wednesday, August 15, the product dubbed Bitcoin Tracker One is now being quoted in USD under the ticker CXBTF.

Bitcoin Tracker One is issued by Swedish company XBT Provider, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK company Global Advisors (Holdings) Limited, and has been available since May 2015 quoted in Euros and Swedish Krona (SEK).

“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona. Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin,” said Ryan Radloff, the chief executive officer of CoinShares Holdings Ltd., the company that holds all the shares of XBT Provider.

Bitcoin Tracker One can be considered a soft opening of sorts for a crypto ETF, which has been repeatedly shot down by U.S. regulators in recent months amid concerns about manipulation and liquidity.

Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s request to list a fund designed by digital entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss was denied last month, while a decision on a rival product from fund providers VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc. was pushed back until at least September.

Trading Bitcoin Tracker One is now similar to buying an American depositary receipt, in that traders will see a foreign-listed asset in U.S. dollars. Investors can purchase so-called F shares, which means that while the trades are executed in U.S. dollars, they are settled, cleared and held in custody in its home market, according to OTC Markets Group.

Unlike exchange-traded funds, ETNs are debt instruments that are backed by their issuers — often a bank — rather than a pool of assets and often focus on esoteric strategies that don’t easily fit in a fund. Bitcoin Tracker One may give investors an alternative to Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, which also offers exposure to Bitcoin. The Grayscale product trades at a significant premium to the underlying asset.

“I do see this as a competitive product,” Radloff said. “Our products historically have not traded at a premium and are liquid.”

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