Clients of Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain’s largest retail trading platform, can now invest in Bitcoin through Exchange Traded Notes (ETN). Taking Bitcoin exposure just got a lot easier for non tech-savvy investors.
Hargreaves Lansdown has stated that it had previously received requests from a handful of clients for the ETN. Through the ETN, both retail and institutional investors would be able to take indirect exposure to the price of Bitcoin.
Hargreaves Lansdown is Britain’s largest retail trading platform, with over GBP 70 bln of investments and 876,000 active clients. It has offered its clients access to Bitcoin ETNs issued by XBT Provider, a Swedish company.
Ryan Radloff, head of Investor Relations for XBT Provider, said: “By adding self-service, online dealing, the team at Hargreaves Lansdown is providing UK investors with professional and quick access to the Bitcoin space in the UK and greater Europe. This is very exciting for any investors who have been thinking about buying Bitcoin but did not want the hassle of security and regulation involved in buying Bitcoin directly from exchanges.”
Positive for Bitcoin
The move by Hargreaves Lansdown would expand the investor base of Bitcoin.enabling a new set of individuals and institutions to invest in it. While the US SEC has rejected the application for a Bitcoin ETF (it is giving the application a second look), other regulators around the world are looking at cryptocurrencies positively. Asia has taken the lead, with Japan recognizing cryptocurrencies and issuing rules for the operation of exchanges. The price of Bitcoin has risen in 2017 in sync with the various positive news.
Bitcoin as a pension plan?
Clients of Hargreaves Lansdown can invest in the Bitcoin ETNs through either their normal broking account or through their self-invested pension plan (SIPP). While adding a small amount of cryptocurrency exposure to a pension account can greatly enhance long-term returns, it does come with higher risk. Investors are exposed to the price volatility of the underlying asset (Bitcoin) as well as foreign exchange risk (the ETNs are denominated in Swedish Kronor/Euro). Hence investors should carefully evaluate their portfolio allocation for pension assets and should take a prudent call on how much to invest in Bitcoin ETN.