Union Investment, a $500 billion Germany-based asset manager, is testing a pilot program with Bitcoin exposure certificates. If the program becomes a success, it will also open Bitcoin exposure to other funds.
The certificates will be available in the quarter fourth of this year with the date yet decided.
For this, “We are considering adding bitcoins in small amounts of 1% to 2% maximum to a handful of other funds for private investors,” Portfolio Manager Daniel Bathe told Bloomberg.
Union Investment had its first Bitcoin exposure in its mixed fund at the beginning of this year. These were Delta 1 certificates in private funds that are allowed to invest up to 1% in Bitcoin, and currently, they are just below that, according to Bathe.
With this move into cryptocurrency, Union Investment aims to get ahead of its competitors, with one of the largest ones, DekaBank, not yet offering any fund with Bitcoin exposure. However, a spokesperson from Dekabank, Germany’s largest asset manager, did say in July that the firm was also considering investing in the leading cryptocurrency.
Germany is expected to see a massive wave of crypto adoption after a new law came into effect in August that allowed “Spezialfonds” that are holding $1.8 trillion to invest 20% in crypto.
“We are observing an increased interest of mixed fund managers in crypto assets,” said Kamil Kaczmarski, a consultant for financial service providers at Oliver Wyman in Frankfurt.
Traditional German investment managers are likely to begin their crypto exposure through certificates and other derivatives, as seen with German public bank Sparkassen, which recently made Bitcoin and crypto investment available to its customers via certificates, individual stocks, and ETFs.
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