Europe has taken the lead in launching the first spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) on a major stock exchange, while the US regulators are still reluctant to approve similar products.
The Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF, created by London-based digital asset management firm Jacobi Asset Management, began trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange on Aug. 15. The ETF is designed to track the FT Wilshire Bitcoin Blended Price Index, which provides real-time average Bitcoin price data from selected cryptocurrency exchanges.
Europe’s Bitcoin ETF Focused on Green Energy
Unlike other Bitcoin-related ETFs that are based on futures contracts or equities, the Jacobi ETF is physically backed by Bitcoin, meaning that investors can gain exposure to the actual Bitcoin market without having to own or custody the underlying asset.
The ETF also claims to be environmentally and socially friendly, as it incorporates a renewable energy certificate (REC) that offsets the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin network. The fund uses external data to measure the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network and buys and retires the RECs accordingly.
The RECs are also recorded on a blockchain service, which allows investors to verify the eco-friendly claims of the fund.
The launch of the Jacobi ETF marks a milestone for Europe, as it is the first spot Bitcoin ETF to be listed on a major stock exchange in the continent. The US regulators, on the other hand, have yet to approve any spot Bitcoin ETF applications from various asset managers, including BlackRock, Grayscale and Fidelity.
Martin Bednall, the CEO of Jacobi Asset Management, highlighted the progressive attitude of Europe towards cryptocurrency investment products as a potential catalyst for further adoption:
“It is exciting to see Europe moving ahead of the US in opening up Bitcoin investing for institutional investors who want safe, secure access to the benefits of digital assets using familiar and regulated structures like our ETF.”
In June 2023, Melanion Capital launched a Bitcoin-related ETF on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. This was followed by the introduction of the Jacobi ETF.
The Melanion Bitcoin Exposure Index tracks a basket of European and American stocks that are closely correlated to Bitcoin’s price movements. However, this ETF differs from the Jacobi ETF in that it does not offer direct exposure to the Bitcoin market.