Bitcoin ETP to launch on London exchange in UK first

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A Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) is due to list on a London stock exchange in what will be a first for the UK market.

On Tuesday, an announcement from the Aquis Exchange said digital asset securities provider ETC Group’s BTCE Bitcoin ETP will be available to trade from June 7 via Aquis’ multilateral trading facilities in London and Paris.

READ: Bitcoin ETFs under review by US regulators

The ETP will be the first time a crypto-connected asset will be traded on any UK market, with transactions to take place in sterling, Swiss francs, Euros and US dollars while clearing will be carried out by The Swiss Stock Exchange.

Acquis said the listing of the Bitcoin ETP will allow the product to reach “a wider group of investors” and follows the ETPs listing on Deutsche Börse’s XETRA platform in June last year as well as the Swiss Exchange in January.

The product is also the top Bitcoin ETP performer in Europe so far this year, with inflows hitting US$459.7mln in the first quarter.

“We have seen many investors recognise the benefits of including secure crypto ETPs like BTCE in their portfolios as an effective hedge against inflation. ETC Group provides exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through our 100% physically backed cryptocurrency ETPs, and bringing our flagship bitcoin product to Aquis Exchange was a logical step as institutional demand for exposure to crypto grows around the world”, ETC Group chief executive Bradley Duke.

“Investors are increasingly accepting digital assets as a bona fide asset class and giving them a place in balanced investment portfolios. Aquis has a history of innovation and is responding to client demand for these assets in an agile way allowing traders to access them in a liquid, regulated environment”, added Aquis Exchange CEO Alasdair Haynes.

Attempts to list crypto-backed funds and products on UK exchanges have been hampered by the cautious attitude of regulators towards the digital currencies, notably their unregulated nature, volatility and potential risks to investors.

However, ETC Group’s Bitcoin ETP can navigate around the rules due to the clearing of the transactions taking place in Switzerland, where crypto exchanges are legal and regulated.

In mid-morning trading in London on Tuesday, Bitcoin itself was relatively flat in the last 24 hours at US$36,207.

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