New York-based asset manager WisdomTree is seeking approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The firm submitted its filing on March 11, 2021.
The filing mentions that the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust if approved, would trade on Chicago Board Options Exchange’s BZX platform going under the ticker BTCW. The trust would provide a regulated way for investors to gain significant exposure to the Bitcoin price, and enable speculators to execute trades via their brokers.
All contracts would be settled based on Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s “CF Bitcoin US Settlement Price.” That is a price index that tracks the price according to the major bitcoin spot exchanges. The proposed ETF is not WisdomTree’s first investment in crypto, with the company currently managing a leading institutional Ethereum fund.
Last June, WisdomTree filed for an ETF that aimed to invest around 5% of capital into bitcoin futures contracts, despite the fund being mainly focused on agriculture, energy, and metals. In December 2019, the company launched a physically-backed bitcoin exchange-traded product that was listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
WisdomTree is not alone in seeking SEC approval for a bitcoin ETF. In February 2021, crypto-focused financial services firm NYDIG filed for a Bitcoin ETF, with top American investment bank Morgan Stanley among the mentioned fund’s authorized participants.
A leading exchange-traded product-issuer VanEck also filed for its BTC fund in January, adding onto an ETF tracking the performance of leading cryptocurrency companies. Also, Texas-based Valkyrie Digital Assets filed for a Bitcoin ETF in the same month.
But, VanEck’s bid for ETF approval may be affected by an ongoing lawsuit from its previous partner, blockchain tech company SolidX. The firm accused VanEck of plagiarizing a product the two companies worked on together in 2018 and 2019.