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Europe Leads with First Spot Bitcoin ETF

Amsterdam became the center of attention in the crypto market when Jacobi Asset Management unveiled Europe’s maiden spot bitcoin ETF on Euronext Amsterdam. This landmark move comes after almost two years since the fund received the green light.

Dubbed the Jacobi FT Wilshere Bitcoin ETF, this pioneering financial product has earned the regulatory nod from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Institutional investors and traders can now spot it on the European exchange with the ticker “BCOIN.” Behind the scenes, the fund’s custody is in the reliable hands of Fidelity Digital Assets, while trading firm Flow Traders ensures smooth operations as the market maker, as shared by Jacobi.

But the journey to this moment wasn’t devoid of hurdles. Jacobi was geared up to introduce the fund to the market in 2022 after securing approval in October 2021. However, the unpredictable nature of the digital asset market, marked by events like the crumbling of the Terra ecosystem and the FTX crypto exchange filing for bankruptcy, urged the firm to hit pause on their launch plan.

Steering the conversation towards exchange-traded products (ETPs), Europe is no stranger to exchange-traded notes (ETNs). Yet, Jacobi’s spot Bitcoin ETF stands out in the crowd. What separates ETFs from ETNs is the ownership dynamics. While investors in ETFs hold a slice of the underlying asset’s shares, those banking on ETNs essentially own a debt instrument. Adding another feather to its cap, Jacobi’s ETF steers clear of leverage and derivatives, unlike its ETN counterparts.

While Europe embraces this crypto evolution, the U.S. remains in a contemplative mode. The American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been swamped with Bitcoin ETF applications over the years, but none have seen the daylight. All eyes are now on the regulator with renewed optimism. The spark? Asset management behemoth BlackRock’s recent application spree, featuring innovative “surveillance-sharing” agreements aimed to shield against any market manipulation.

With Europe setting the pace with its first spot Bitcoin ETF, the ball is now in the U.S. court. The question remains: When will American institutions truly embrace crypto and jump on the bandwagon?