The San Francisco-based crypto index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a new bitcoin-backed exchange – traded fund (ETF) that would track its Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index.
The new ETF differs from the Bitwise first filing in July 2018 for a similar product, in that it would require third-party custodians to safeguard the physical bitcoins.
“We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year. Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.” said John Hyland, global head of ETFs for Bitwise in a press release.
If approved, the listing will be done on the NYSE Arca, which is owned and operated by the Intercontinental Exchange, while Bitwise Index Services will create and manage the proposed bitcoin ETF.
Until now SEC resistance to bless any crypto based ETFs has been one of the major obstructions for the industry to attract institutional investors.
“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches,” Bitwise’s John Hyland also said.
Earlier this week sources confirmed that the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan is considering the idea to approve crypto asset based ETFs.
On Thursday Bitcoin was 9.40% down and traded below 3800 USD.