North America’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded funds began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange recently.
The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, developed by Toronto-based Purpose Investments, was approved for trading last week by the Ontario Securities Commission. As of Feb. 18, units of the ETF were at $10.19 in late afternoon trading on the S&P/TSX composite index, up 19 cents from their opening bid.
The second ETF, from Evolve Funds Group Inc., began trading on Feb. 19 under the ticker symbol EBIT. The ETFs will allow retail investors to gain access to Bitcoin investments without owning the asset directly.
The launch of the ETFs comes amid a surge in the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin hitting an all-time high of around $66,500 on Feb. 17.
Regulators had previously resisted the approval of a Bitcoin ETF, citing the potential for market manipulation and concerns about how to store the assets securely. The ETFs are backed by physically-settled Bitcoins as opposed to derivatives or future contracts, according to press releases from both funds.