German electronic exchange Deutsche Boerse is to list a new type of exchange traded product (ETP) for investing in digital currencies, in what looks set to be the world’s first centrally cleared crypto derivative.
The product, called the Bitcoin Exchange Traded Crypto (BTCE), is being promoted by London-based ETC Group, and will list on Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra market in Frankfurt.
Backed by digital currencies, the instrument is centrally cleared, meaning a single financial institution takes the counterparty credit risk to transactions. Digital currency will be in a cold vault under the BitGo’s watch.
ETC Group CEO Bradley Duke said the product has some of the same features of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but instead focuses on a single asset rather than a fund: “It really is a hybrid ETP product that has the same features as an ETF [exchange-traded fund]. Because it’s a single asset instrument it doesn’t qualify to be an ETF according to the European fund regime.”
The security is expected to cost more than comparable ETFs, with expenses set to come in at 2%, compared to the norm of between 0.5-0.7%.
The announcement of the new type of security comes after German regulators BaFin announced in early 2020 they were to recognize digital currencies as a type of financial instrument.
The new security will originally list in Germany, but will also be available in the U.K., Italy and Austria.
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