Gibraltar has welcomed Europe’s first regulated Bitcoin product in the form of Bitcoin exchange-traded instrument (ETI) BitcoinETI, which will shortly debut on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) and Germany’s Deutsche Börse.
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Gibraltar’s EU-Regulated Bitcoin Asset
BitcoinETI, which received approval for admission to both exchanges Friday, is an asset-backed ETI invested exclusively in Bitcoin. It will trade on both exchanges under the ticker BTCETI.
The product is issued by iStructure PCC PLC, and is the result of a joint venture between the Gibraltar government and the territory’s financial regulator, together with developers Argentarius ETI Management Limited and iStructure PCC PLC subsidiary Revoltura Ltd.
“By listing the ETI on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which is an EU regulated market, we are able to bring a high-level of transparency and liquidity to investors,” Ransu Salovaara, CEO of Revoltura said in a press release issued today.
BitcoinETI is available through regulated brokerage firms across Europe and settlements are handled through Clearstream/Euroclear, just like any other securities.
The move marks not just a breakout for Bitcoin applications in Europe, but hints that jurisdictions are paying more attention to ‘getting ahead’ with cryptocurrency than might have been thought.
“We continue to work with the private sector and our Regulator on an appropriate regulatory environment for operators in the digital currency space and the launch of this ETI on our stock exchange demonstrates our ability to be innovative and deliver speed to market,” Gibraltar’s minister for financial services and gaming, Albert Isola, said.
“I am delighted to welcome BitcoinETI to Gibraltar and congratulate GSX and Argentarius on this initiative,” he added.
Gibraltar as Bitcoin ‘Hub’
The US has already seen something of an arms race to get regulated exchange traded funds (ETFs) – a form of ETI – to market. Even the New York Stock Exchange is currently being considered as a platform.
In Europe, however, activity had been comparatively absent in the sphere until the Gibraltar announcement.
“European sophisticated investors such as asset managers, pension funds, and private bankers have now the possibility to capture the performance of Bitcoin through an EU stock exchange,” Argentarius CEO Andreas Woelfl commented on the new market possibilities.
Gibraltar meanwhile will seek to strengthen its position as an EU “virtual currency hub,” despite it being an overseas territory of the UK, which is set to begin negotiations to leave the EU. The territory voted in the UK’s membership referendum, with a vast majority wanting to remain in the political bloc.
Revoltura also stated it “has plans to introduce and list further digital currency and disruptive technology instruments in the near future.”
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