Canada launches first Bitcoin ETF

There is no end to the positive developments surrounding Bitcoin. Now, Canada’s Purpose Investments has launched the first exchange-traded Bitcoin fund on Feb. 11.

The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, approved by the Canadian government, becomes the first exchange-traded crypto fund (ETF) in North America. CAD and USD versions will be traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the BTCC and BTCC.U, respectively.

According to the prospectus, the ETF will be audited by Big Four consulting firm Ernst and Young. Cidel Trust will handle custody duties in Canada, while Gemini Trust Company, owned by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, will be the sub-trustee for non-Canadian holdings.

Gemini Trust is more than just a big-name purpose investment partner. The Winklevoss twins were among the first in the US to apply for a bitcoin ETF in 2017. Their interest in institutional investment vehicles and the integration of US tax calculation applications into their platform in October 2020 positions the company well as a sub-custodian in this case.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected the Gemini Trust bitcoin ETF application due to the immaturity of the bitcoin market at the time. However, the Winklevoss twins claim that they are still interested in pursuing this direction.

Canada can now claim this as the first in Bitcoin history (Go to Buy Bitcoin with Paypal Guide) for North America. In the US, Gemini is not the only one trying to get SEC approval for an ETF.

On Jan. 22, the Valkyrie Fund filed an application with the SEC to create an ETF. VanEck also dusted off its plans for a bitcoin ETF, which had been officially withdrawn for 2019.

After the presidential election, the change in the US brings some hope for the cryptocurrency community and professional investors. The latter has made the current bitcoin bull run possible by entering the market in 2020.

So far, institutional investors have been trying to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies through investment companies like Grayscale. As a result, the Grayscale Bitcoin Fund has been an enormous success.

The ability to hold exposures and trade in North American markets was not available in the US until Thursday. However, investors trading on American markets will have to wait.

Will new SEC Chair Janet Yellen change the commission’s stance on crypto? She has expressed mixed views since her tenure as head of the US Treasury.

Two issues will show the SEC’s direction in the Yellen era. One is how the SEC handles the Ripple Labs case. The SEC, under ex-Secretary Mnuchin, charged Ripple and two of its CEOs with selling unregistered securities.

The other issue? ETFs. If Yellen makes a change on ETFs, then the US could eventually catch up to Canada.