Fidelity Investments, a Boston-based investment company with over $4 trillion in assets under management, is launching an exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by physical.
There’s little to cheer about for American investors, however, as the Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF (FBTC) is rolling out on the Toronto Stock Exchange rather than in the U.S.
An ETF is a publicly-traded investment vehicle that tracks the value of an underlying asset; in the case of a, that asset is Bitcoin.
Bitcoin ETFs are already available to investors in several countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, and Dubai. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), however, has so far rejected each and every application for a Bitcoin spot ETF, which would offer direct exposure to Bitcoin.
Instead, the SEC greenlighted ETFs tied to Bitcoin futures contracts, something that may be seen as a temporary compromise between the regulator and the asset managers, even though the latter repeatedly speak in favor of spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Fidelity, which is among the dozen other physical Bitcoin ETF hopefuls in the U.S., has stated in its prospectus that it was free to move forward with its Canadian product as “no securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offense to claim otherwise.”
The new fund will be actively managed and will directly obtain physical Bitcoin instead of getting exposure to BTC through a derivative instrument.
“This should be embarrassing for the SEC that one of America's biggest, most storied names in investing is forced to go up North to serve its clients,” tweeted Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg.
This should be embarrassing for the SEC that one of America's biggest, most storied names in investing is forced to go up North to serve its clients. But it prob won't matter.
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 30, 2021
Fidelity’s latest crypto moves
The move comes days after Fidelity received regulatory approval to launch Fidelity Clearing Canada (FCC), the county’s first institutional solution offering digital asset trading and custody services.
Earlier this year, Fidelity Digital Assets, the firm’s crypto-focused arm, conducted a survey among institutional investors, which concluded that 70% of respondents intend to buy or invest in digital assets in the near future, with over 90% of them planning to do so by 2026.
This may also be one of the reasons behind Fidelity Digital Assets' recently unveiled plans to add around 100 new employees to its staff so it can meet the rapidly growing institutional demand for digital assets beyond