$5 trillion asset manager Fidelity applies for Bitcoin ETF

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FD Funds Management, a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments (which manages over $4.9 trillion in assets), yesterday filed a preliminary registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

“The digital assets ecosystem has grown significantly in recent years, creating an even more robust marketplace for investors and accelerating demand among institutions. An increasingly wide range of investors seeking access to bitcoin has underscored the need for a more diversified set of products offering exposure to digital assets,” Fidelity added in an email.

ETFs track the prices of certain underlying assets—Bitcoin in this case—and could allow investors to get exposure to the crypto’s price volatility via shares without actually holding it.

The fund, dubbed Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, would hold BTC and value it based on prices from major crypto exchanges such as Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, and Kraken, the filing explained. Fidelity Digital Assets, a crypto-focused arm of Fidelity Investments, is expected to act as the fund’s custodian, while FD Funds Management is listed as a sponsor.

If approved, Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust could become a major milestone for the adoption of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors. However, Fidelity is far from the first and only firm to apply for such a fund, but the SEC kept turning all similar applications down over the past few years.

Applications for Bitcoin ETFs keep piling up

As CryptoSlate reported, investment advisory firm First Trust Advisors and hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, led by former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, have filed a similar application with the SEC recently.

Their joint fund, dubbed First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF Trust, is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform.

Last week, the SEC has also acknowledged a Bitcoin ETF proposal by asset management company VanEck. Since the filing day, the regulator has 45 days to approve or decline the application. In the past, VanEck has already made several attempts to launch a Bitcoin ETF.

Meanwhile, three Bitcoin ETFs have recently been approved in Canada and another one—in Brazil. QR Capital Group, the company behind the latter, previously expressed hope that emerging Bitcoin ETF around the world could help pave the way for similar products in the U.S.

“This is because the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários [Brazil’s regulator], as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is an affiliated member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions,” QR Capital noted in its announcement.

But so far, the title of America’s first-ever Bitcoin ETF is still up for grabs.

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