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London Stock Exchange to launch Bitcoin and Ethereum ETNs

source-logo  cryptopolitan.com 26 March 2024 13:07, UTC

London is once again grabbing the financial world by the horns. This time, it’s not about tea, crumpets, or the rainy weather we all pretend to love. No, it’s about the London Stock Exchange (LSE) rolling out the red carpet for Bitcoin and Ethereum Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) starting May 28, 2024. Aimed squarely at the so-called “Pro investors,” this move is set to ignite the already fiery debate around the integration of cryptocurrency into traditional financial markets.

After getting the green light from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) back on March 11, the LSE announced it’s ready to accept the nerdy, complex applications for these digital asset-backed securities come April 8. If you’re wondering about the FCA, they’re the financial watchdogs who make sure everything in the UK’s financial market plays out like a well-oiled machine, albeit with a penchant for caution when it comes to the wild west of crypto.

Let’s Dive into the Crypto ETN Jungle

Diving headfirst into the specifics, the LSE isn’t just throwing open its doors willy-nilly. There’s a process, folks, and it’s about as fun as watching paint dry, but necessary. By April 15, issuers wanting a piece of this action must send over a love letter (of sorts) and a draft prospectus to the LSE, detailing how their ETN meets the bar set by the Exchange. It’s like applying to a highly selective college, but instead of essays about your summer camp experiences, it’s all crypto talk.

The official launch party is set for May 28, but don’t expect balloons or streamers. This is about giving the issuers enough runway to ensure they’re not just throwing a dart in the dark. The LSE and FCA are looking for well-thought-out plans, backed by cold, hard crypto stored safely away from the hands of hackers and ne’er-do-wells. And let’s not forget, this club is VIP only – sorry, average Joes, this ETN fiesta is for professional investors only.

Why all the exclusivity? Well, the FCA has been singing the same tune for a while now: crypto is risky business for the retail crowd. They’re not saying it’s a no-go forever, but for now, they’d rather keep the general populace out of what they see as a potentially harmful fray.

The Technicalities and Timelines

For the enthusiasts out there marking their calendars, April 8 is when the application floodgates open. But it’s not just about slapping together some paperwork. The LSE wants to see that you’ve done your homework, detailing exactly how your ETN ticks all the boxes they and the FCA have outlined. Miss the April 15 deadline for your dossier of documents, and you might as well not show up to the party.

Then there’s the D-day: May 28. It’s not just a random Tuesday chosen by throwing darts at a calendar. The LSE has strategically chosen this date to ensure a maximal number of issuers can strut their stuff from day one. It’s about setting the stage for success, not just for the Exchange or the issuers but for the broader acceptance of cryptocurrencies in mainstream finance.

Now, here’s where London shines. By opening up its venerable Exchange to the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETNs, it’s sending a clear message: cryptocurrencies are not just a flash in the pan. They’re a part of the future of finance, and London intends to be right there at the forefront, rain or shine.

To the skeptics, the naysayers, and the uninitiated, this may all seem like a high-stakes gamble. But in reality, it’s a calculated move. The LSE and FCA are laying down strict guidelines, demanding rigorous scrutiny and due diligence from all participants. This isn’t about jumping on a bandwagon; it’s about strategically positioning London as a hub for financial innovation, with all the checks and balances you’d expect from one of the world’s leading financial centers.