American investors can now invest in bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) through an Exchange-Traded Note (ETN) called Bitcoin Tracker One on the Nasdaq Stockholm Exchange in Sweden, per a Bloomberg report.
The product, which started trading in 2015, is currently available to American investors despite being listed and regulated under Swedish law after being listed in U.S. Dollars for the first time on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
Crypto ETF Through the Back Door?
For several months, investors have eagerly awaited approval from the SEC and CFTC to trade ETF products proposed by CBOE Global Markets, the Winklevoss Twins, SolidX Partners and VanEck Associates, among others. Each of these proposals has either been refused out of hand or delayed to a future date for a concrete decision.
Crypto ETFs potentially allow investors to trade crypto without holding crypto assets because they are cash settled. For potential crypto investors who do not want to actually buy crypto assets, the regulatory delay in the U.S. has effectively prevented them from getting into the market.
Until now, investors could only buy into the Swedish ETN product using Euros or Swedish Kora, but, with the listing of Bitcoin Tracker One in U.S. Dollars, a substantial upsurge of interest in the product is expected to take place as American investment jostles to get a seat at the table.
ETN as an ETF Alternative
An exchange-traded note differs from an exchange-traded fund in that unlike the latter, it is backed by its issuer, which is usually a bank, instead of an asset pool. Its market strategies are also substantially different from those of a fund. In practice, what this means to American investors is that, regardless of their government's regulatory position, they now have access to a foreign-listed crypto market asset denominated in USD.
Investors are now able to buy F shares, meaning that U.S. dollars are used to execute trades, while settling, clearance and custody takes place in Sweden.
Ryan Radloff, CEO of CoinShares Holdings Ltd., the parent of XBTProvider, the company offering the ETN, told Bloomberg that the development "is a big win for Bitcoin."
“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before they were only available in euros or Swedish krona,” he added.
Bitcoin Tracker One is down 51 percent in 2018 amidst a general crypto market slump, but it is expected to welcome an inflow of cash from American institutional investors. This latest development could also create a more compelling case for U.S. regulators to approve a crypto ETF by establishing a positive example of regulated crypto trading.