Regulated Bitcoin Fund Coming to Canada Following Battle with Securities Commission
Retail investors in Canada will soon be able to get exposure to Bitcoin through a fully-regulated, closed-end fund. The world first, as it is being described, is the result of a battle between fund manager 3iQ and the Ontario Securities Commission.
The imaginatively-titled “The Bitcoin Fund” should be available to Canadian retail investors later this year. It is expected to be listed for trading on a major Canadian stock exchange.
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According to a press release from 3iQ, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) approved the new fund earlier today. Having been rejected by the regulator in February, the company launched an appeal. It claimed that it would be following current regulatory guidelines for custody, pricing of the asset (BTC) itself, and the auditing process.
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In a landmark victory for Canadian fintech and capital markets, 3iQ has been given the green light by the Ontario Securities Commission to file a prospectus and apply to list “The Bitcoin Fund” on a Canadian stock exchange.https://t.co/vMXmeEsig6
— 3iQ Corp (@3iq_corp) October 30, 2019
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As part of today’s hearing on the matter, OSC Commissioner Lawrence P. Haber stated that the regulatory body had not sufficiently proved that such a fund built around Bitcoin could not be compliant with existing regulations. He also refuted the notion that retail investors were not sophisticated enough to perceive the possible risks of investing in digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
Chairman of 3iQ, Howard Atkinson, commented on the victory, described by the firm’s social media department as “landmark”:
“We look forward to offering retail investors exposure to this exciting new asset class within registered and traditional investment accounts.”
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History in the making. Proud that @Gemini Custody will be the custodian for @3iq_corp's "The Bitcoin Fund" that will list on the Canadian stock exchange! #ToTheMoon https://t.co/DfTGscVa00
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) October 30, 2019
Meanwhile, Tyler Winklevoss, the co-founder of the Gemini crypto asset trading venue, called the ruling “history in the making”, adding he was proud that 3iQ would be using his firm’s Bitcoin custody solution to protect users’ investments.
Tyler’s twin brother, Cameron, added:
“3iQ has carefully selected a team of professional partners with expertise in the digital asset industry to construct a safe and secure fund product for the Canadian market, and we are excited to be selected as their custodian.”
These partners not only include Gemini but also VanEck, one of the firms behind repeated efforts to bring the first Bitcoin ETF to the US market.
Fred Pye, President & CEO of 3iQ, also provided comment about the ongoing work the firm has undertaken with the OSC:
“Over the past three years, we have worked actively with the OSC’s Investment Funds and Structured Products Branch to create an investment fund that we hope will allow retail investors the benefits of investing in bitcoin through a regulated, listed fund.”
It remains to be seen if The Bitcoin Fund will prove popular amongst investors. However, the ruling is a pretty big step towards greater regulatory acceptance of the asset class, with most regulated Bitcoin platforms around the world being reserved for accredited investors only.
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