Bitcoin

Bitcoin ETPs Begin Trading on the London Stock Exchange

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The first bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs) have debuted trading on the London Stock Exchange after receiving approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Asset managers WisdomTree and 21Shares both listed bitcoin ETPs on the LSE today.

Last week, the FCA gave the green light for Bitcoin ETNs to be listed on the exchange. This enabled today’s launch from issuers who had been awaiting regulatory clearance to bring Bitcoin ETNs to the LSE.

21Shares listed two Bitcoin products: the 21Shares Bitcoin ETN (ABTC) and 21Shares Bitcoin Core ETN (CBTC). Meanwhile, WisdomTree launched its Physical Bitcoin ETN (BTCW).

All the ETNs provide exposure to the price of bitcoin. They are currently only accessible to professional investors under FCA rules. “But the game-changer in the UK will be when the retail ban is lifted; there is a retail ban on trading bitcoin and ether ETNs at the moment”, Alex Pollak, head of UK for 21Shares, mentioned.

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Today’s debut is a milestone for both Bitcoin adoption and London’s aspirations to be a digital asset hub. Other major financial centers like the US, Europe and Hong Kong already offer regulated bitcoin funds, pressing the FCA to catch up.

21Shares co-founder Ophelia Snyder emphasised, “The UK is one of the deepest, most liquid capital markets in the world.”

The FCA is taking a phased approach to opening its market. Listing bitcoin ETNs enables professional investors to gain regulated exposure to crypto assets on the LSE for the first time.