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Bitwise Joins Hunt for Bitcoin ETF Approval With Futures Product Filing

www.coindesk.com 14 September 2021 22:06, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

ETF Series Solutions has filed for a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) with Bitwise Index Services, a division of the asset management firm.

The Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF was filed Tuesday under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and seeks to invest in bitcoin futures and other financial products.

Proponents of a bitcoin ETF have claimed that it would offer retail investors a regulated financial product that has exposure to bitcoin, giving these investors an alternative to investing in bitcoin directly. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal agency tasked with overseeing such products, has yet to approve one.

“The Fund will not invest directly in bitcoin,” the filing said. “While the Fund intends to obtain exposure to bitcoin primarily through indirect investments in standardized, cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts traded on commodity exchanges registered with the CFTC (’Bitcoin Futures’), it may also invest in pooled investment vehicles and Canadian-listed funds that provide exposure to bitcoin.”

The ETF might also invest in cash, U.S. government securities or money market funds, according to the filing. U.S. Bancorp Fund Services will act as the transfer agent and administrator, while U.S. Bank will serve as the custodian.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has indicated that the agency is more likely to approve a bitcoin futures ETF than a spot bitcoin ETF. A futures ETF will invest in a regulated bitcoin futures product offered by CME, rather than in bitcoin directly.

Gensler has raised concerns about crypto spot market regulation, echoing a view SEC staff has often hinted at in rejecting previous bitcoin ETF applications.

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