Bitwise Asset Management, a provider of cryptocurrency index funds, is filing for regulatory approval that would allow it to publicly trade shares of its Bitcoin fund on an over-the-counter (OTC) market.
The company has filed a 211 form for the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund with the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to a press release released Tuesday.
With the aim of competing with Bitcoin investment vehicles like Grayscale Investments and Galaxy Digital, the company plans to publicly trade shares of its fund on the New York-based OTCQX marketplace. Fidelity Investments would oversee the custody of the fund’s bitcoin assets.
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OTCQX is designed for both US and international companies that must meet stringent financial standards to qualify for the market.
If approved by FINRA, shares in the Bitwise Fund would be available for trading with traditional brokerage accounts and could be held with traditional custodians, according to the press release. The company has not yet announced a ticker for the fund.
“The interest of professional investors in access to Bitcoin as a tool to hedge their portfolios against rising inflation risk is growing significantly,” said Matt Hougan, Bitwise chief investment officer.
Hougan added that more and more financial advisors are “taking note of” large allocations from hedge funds, institutions and insurance companies to Bitcoin and may be making their own investments.
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The company told CoinDesk that the fund offers a 1.5% expense ratio, which is 2.0% below Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Grayscale is owned by the Digital Currency Group, the parent company of CoinDesk.
Should approval be given, the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund will be the second Bitwise fund to open for public listing following the company’s successful approval for its Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund in December.
Originally published February 2, 2021, 4 p.m.