WisdomTree launches Bitcoin ETP in Europe

Dec 3rd, 2019 | By | Category: Alternatives / Multi-Asset

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WisdomTree has introduced its first cryptocurrency exchange-traded product with the launch of the WisdomTree Bitcoin ETP (BTCW SW) in Europe.

Alexis Marinof, Head of WisdomTree Europe

Alexis Marinof, Head of Europe, WisdomTree.

The ETP provides professional investors with exposure to the price movements of Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

It has been listed on SIX Swiss Exchange in US dollars with an expense ratio of 0.95% and seeded with $1 million.

Issuers of crypto asset-based ETPs argue that the exchange-traded wrapper offers a liquid and convenient means to access digital assets without the need to hold them directly, store private access keys, or interact with blockchains in any way.

Each share in the ETP corresponds to 1/100th of a Bitcoin and will be fully backed by a coin entitlement stored using institutional-grade storage solutions. Investors will be able to view each share’s coin entitlement and the total amount of Bitcoins secured in custody on WisdomTree’s website.

The ETP is the second Bitcoin product to launch on SIX following the listing of the Amun Bitcoin Crypto Single Tracker ETP (ABTC SW) in February 2019.

With assets under management of around $5m, the Amun Bitcoin ETP has yet to generate significant investor interest, perhaps owing to its rather punchy expense ratio of 2.50%.

Alexis Marinof, Head of Europe, WisdomTree, commented, “We have been monitoring cryptocurrencies for some time and are excited to bring investors secure access to this developing asset class. We have seen enough to believe that digital assets, like Bitcoin, are not a passing trend and can play a role in portfolios.

“WisdomTree has a history of bringing innovative investment themes to a broad market through institutional-class products, allowing investors to take exposures in difficult-to-access asset classes – we see many parallels between the cryptocurrency space and commodities in this regard.”

Rafi Aviav, Head of Product Development, Capital Markets and Technology, WisdomTree, added, “Cryptocurrencies are potentially the next asset class to benefit from increased interest when they become accessible in an ETP structure. We have developed a solution that addresses the difficulties investors face in accessing digital assets and are bridging the gap between the underlying decentralized online blockchain technology and traditional investment structures.

“The ETP wrapper will add new dimensions to the cryptocurrency universe including institutional class custody solutions for investors, easier trading incorporated into standard brokerage and account maintenance procedures, more liquid and transparent trading and a broader array of more sophisticated market participants entering the arena for these products.”

Jonathan Steinberg, CEO of WisdomTree, said, “WisdomTree has always been at the forefront of innovation and we see blockchain technology and digital currencies as being transformative for the asset management industry. Much like how the ETP structure has outshone the mutual fund structure in significant ways, blockchain and cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how investors participate in financial markets globally.”

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