Bitcoin and Ethereum Hit London Stock Exchange

As cryptocurrency enthusiasts eagerly await the approval of a physically-backed Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US, London has also seen a groundbreaking development.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved two crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) by WisdomTree, which are soon to debut on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

WisdomTree, a global issuer of exchange-traded products and funds with nearly $112 billion under management, announced on Wednesday that it received FCA approval to launch two new instruments on the LSE: WisdomTree Physical Bitcoin (BTCW) and WisdomTree Physical Ethereum (ETHW).

These physically backed ETPs are expected to launch next week, on May 28, 2024, and will initially be available only to professional investors, though there is a chance they will also reach retail investors in the future.

“While UK-based professional investors have been able to allocate to crypto ETPs via overseas exchanges, they will soon have a more convenient access point,” commented Alexis Marinof, the Head of Europe at WisdomTree.

on Terminal: WisdomTree said it’s received approval from the FCA to list physically-backed Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded products in London (for professionals only)
all approved crypto ETPs are expected to go live on May 28

— Emily Nicolle (@emilyjnicolle) May 22, 2024

The new instrument is set to offer competitive trading conditions compared to other crypto ETPs listed in Europe. The management expense ratio (MER) will be 0.35%.

“FCA approval in this regard could result in greater institutional adoption of the asset class, as many professional investors have been unable to gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to regulatory limitations and uncertainty,” Marinof added.

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WisdomTree Bitcoin Fund

It’s important to note that WisdomTree was also the first to issue crypto ETPs in Europe in 2019. They currently offer a range of such instruments, which are listed on exchanges in Germany, Switzerland, and in Paris and Amsterdam.

WisdomTree was also among the companies that launched the first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF on Wall Street in the first half of January 2024.

„The WisdomTree Bitcoin Fund is an exchange-traded fund whose investment objective is to gain exposure to the price of bitcoin, less expenses and liabilities, by holding bitcoin. The Fund will generally value its shares daily using an independently calculated value based on an aggregation of executed trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges,” the WisdomTree commented.

BTCW is currently priced at just under $74, close to its historical highs and showing a direct correlation with the price of Bitcoin. Since the lows of January, it has gained over 80%.

What is the difference between ETP and ETF? ETPs are a broad category that includes various investment instruments like ETFs, exchange-traded nots (ETNs), and exchange-traded commodities (ETCs). ETFs are a specific type of ETP, so all ETFs are ETPs but not all ETPs are ETFs.

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