Soon after dropping a filing for a Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, asset manager Invesco is launching a spot BTC exchange-traded note (ETN) in Europe.
On Nov. 29, German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse officially announced the listing of the Invesco Physical Bitcoin ETN on its digital stock exchange, Xetra. The new product will trade under the ticker symbol BTIC.
Admitted to the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the new ETN product is physically backed by Bitcoin and is centrally cleared via Eurex Clearing. “Through central clearing, investors benefit from significantly reduced risks in the settlement of transactions,” the announcement notes.
According to a report by the ETF-focused publication ETF Stream, custody of Bitcoin held on behalf of BTIC will be provided by Standard Chartered’s crypto custody platform, known as Zodia. Northern Trust, a co-investor in Zodia, will reportedly act as the administrator for BTIC. Launched in late 2020, Zodia is registered with the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.
Major European digital asset manager CoinShares is a known partner of Invesco and will serve as both the index sponsor and execution agent for the new ETN. BTIC is tracking the CoinShares Bitcoin Hourly Reference Rate index, delivering the price performance on the underlying asset minus fees.
The news comes shortly after Invesco withdrew its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a Bitcoin futures-based ETF in October in order to provide investors with better investment options rather than just a 100% BTC futures ETF.
“Physical bitcoin is a more observable marketplace. One of our concerns was the depth of synthetic liquidity as well as what that may do to valuations over time and that is something we were not wholly comfortable with,” said Gary Buxton, head of ETFs and indexed strategies at Invesco. He added that Invesco has been working on the product “since the middle of 2018.”
Invesco’s entrance to the European industry of crypto exchange-traded products (ETP) comes as Deutsche Boerse actively expands the range of supported crypto derivatives products across its operated exchanges. According to the firm, the Xetra exchange offers as many as 26 ETNs from seven providers on various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), Litecoin (LTC) and others.
Both ETFs and ETNs are types of ETPs and they are fairly similar in that they track an underlying asset and trading on exchanges in a manner like that of other securities. While an ETF presumes investment in a fund that holds the assets, an ETN is more like a bond, providing exposure to an unsecured debt note issued by an institution.