Bitwise Asset Management applies for Bitcoin-backed ETF

Bitwise Asset Management, a cryptocurrency index fund provider, has applied for a new bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The application, submitted with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), outlines the company’s proposal.

For the benefit of those not in the know,an ETF is essentially a marketable security designed to track a specific stock index, a commodity bond or asset. Another thing to note is that an ETF’s price will vary throughout the day as they are purchased and sold.

In this instance, Bitwise’s ETF would be used to track the Bitwise Bitcoin BTC Total Return Index.

According to a Bitwise-issued statement, the proposed ETF differs from previously filed ETFs in that it will rely on regulated third-party custodians to hold physical Bitcoin. The index, the statement adds, will also draw prices from “a large number” of cryptocurrency exchanges.

John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Trade Funds for Bitwise, commented on the application: “While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a Bitcoin ETF launches.”

Matt Hougan, Bitwise’s Global Head of Research, said the SEC had asked thoughtful and relevant questions about the quality of the crypto trading ecosystem.

“We have spent the past year researching these questions and look forward to discussing those findings with the SEC staff in connection with the filing and listing application,” he added.

In terms of next steps, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is expected to submit an application to list shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF.

The ticker symbol is yet to be determined.

Published January 10, 2019 — 17:11 UTC