Asset manager Fidelity applies for bitcoin ETF

Fidelity applied for the so-called Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust on Wednesday. If approved, it would be the first bitcoin ETF in the US.

Well-known asset manager Fidelity Investments has filed an application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a new Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (BTC).

The Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust was filed with the SEC on Wednesday, according to a related form made public on the regulator’s website. The ETF tracks the Bitcoin Code daily performance of the digital currency using the Fidelity Bitcoin Index PR. The index is formed from various price data.

The prospectus states:

„The Trust provides direct exposure to Bitcoin. The Trust’s units are valued daily using the same methodology used to calculate the Index.“

The fund is registered in Delaware and Fidelity Digital Asset Services is listed as the custodian

Fidelity says investors can access the fund through a traditional brokerage account without the „potential barriers to entry or risks associated with holding or transferring bitcoin directly“. Like other proposed bitcoin ETFs, the Fidelity Trust aims to provide greater institutional access to cryptocurrencies.

A US bitcoin ETF has been speculated about since the 2017 bull market. So far, lawmakers at the SEC have rejected any proposal to use bitcoin in an ETF over concerns about extreme volatility and price manipulation. Advocates believe that could change as Bitcoin matures as an asset class.

Last week, Goldman Sachs filed for a new ETF. This includes the option to include BTC. The so-called Autocallable Contingent Coupon ETF-Linked Notes „offer exposure to cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, indirectly through an investment in a grantor trust,“ according to the prospectus.

Canadian regulators have approved two bitcoin ETFs so far. The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, launched in mid-February, reached $100 million in volume in its first hours of trading.

Fidelity was among the first major institutions to welcome cryptocurrencies. The company began mining Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) in 2014. That same year, Abigail Johnson became president and CEO of the company.