Crypto Mining ETF Focused On Green Energy Launches On NYSE

Investment firm Viridi Funds has launched an environmentally friendly, crypto mining-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund aims to invest in crypto mining firms using cleaner sources of energy.

Viridi Funds’ New RIGZ ETF

The ETF dubbed the Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining and Semiconductor ETF will trade on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform under the symbol ‘RIGZ.’

According to the announcement, Viridi Funds will serve as a sub-adviser to the fund, with Alpha Architect creating the fund’s infrastructure.

The ETF, which has an expense ratio of 0.9%, was first filed by Viridi in April this year.

Viridi said 80% of the fund’s investment would go to publicly traded miners, while 20% would go towards semiconductors that take advantage of clean energy. The fund would only invest in miners who have switched to nuclear or renewable energy sources or are working on offsetting their carbon emissions with carbon credits.

According to the CEO of Viridi Funds, Wes Fulford, the firm would use an internal proprietary screening algorithm to select the companies based on their current and planned energy source.

Viridi Funds is backed by several investors, including CoinShares, Alameda Ventures, Luxor Technology, Fundamental Labs, and Mechanism Capital.

Fulford commented on the recent movement of miners from China to North America. He said this was good news as North American miners have access to renewable energy sources.

“We believe that based on recent developments within the Chinese mining sector, North American miners that have access to sustainable low-cost power, large fleets of new-generation rigs, and access to capital are well-positioned to generate higher returns during the months and years ahead.”

With the migration of Chinese miners to North America, the country now accounts for nearly 17% of all global Bitcoin mining, CNBC reports.

Viridi’s ETF Amid Calls For Clean Energy

Viridi’s new product launch is part of the growing efforts of institutions in focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Several partnerships have been formed lately by US crypto mining firms to make Bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Last week, Bitcoin miner Cleanspark partnered with ESG focused miner Coinmint to increase scalability.

Other companies like Hut 8 and Hive Blockchain have also signed deals recently purchasing new machines to increase their hashrate.

For months, all the buzz has been about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. While countries like Canada and Brazil have already listed Bitcoin ETFs in their stock exchanges, the US is yet to approve any.

Viridi’s ETF differs because it will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies but will likely have indirect exposure to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. This is because many publicly listed miners have these assets on their balance sheets.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

SEC Extends Decision On WisdomTree’s Bitcoin ETF Application

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on WisdomTree’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

SEC Seeks Public Comments On WisdomTree’s Application

The SEC pushed back its decision to get feedback from the public on WisdomTree’s application. According to the federal securities regulator, public comments would help ascertain whether the ETF would be safe for investors.

The public would be required to communicate their position on whether the ETF should be approved or denied.

The SEC also wants to know if the public thinks that the proposed Bitcoin ETF would be susceptible to market manipulation. It also intends to determine if the ETF is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices. The SEC explained,

“The Exchange asserts that the manipulation concerns previously articulated by the Commission are sufficiently mitigated to the point that quantifiable investor protection issues outweigh them.”

Members of the public are expected to submit their comments to the Federal Register within 21 days, while rebuttals would be filed 35 days from publication.

The SEC is still struggling to decide on whether to approve an ETF or not. This is the second time the regulator is asking for public comment on the same WisdomTree’s application.

The first time the commission asked for public comments was in April this year, a month after WisdomTree first filed its Bitcoin ETF application. On May 26, the SEC designated even a longer time to approve or disapprove WisdomTree’s proposed rule change.

WisdomTree has been working on ETFs since last year.

In June 2020, the firm applied for an ETF focused majorly on agriculture, energy, and metals, in which 5% of the assets would be invested in Bitcoin futures contracts. In addition to its Bitcoin ETF, the firm also filed for an Ethereum ETF in May this year.

WisdomTree Investments was founded in 2006 as an asset management firm based in the US. The company has subsidiaries in Canada, Europe, and Japan and was established by Jonathan Steinberg.

The SEC Continues Stalling ETF Applications

The SEC is still reviewing several applications for both Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. Some of the applications have come from firms like VanEck, Kryptoin, and Fidelity. The regulator is yet to approve any crypto ETF within the US.

Proponents claim that a Bitcoin ETF can help investors by creating a more regulated market. Yet, the SEC continues to stall while citing volatility and market manipulation as key concerns in rejecting the ETF applications.

Former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Timothy Massad, recently urged the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF. In a Bloomberg opinion piece, Massad said the SEC should look into approving an ETF in a way that would enhance transparency and integrity in the industry.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has also made solid points supporting the approval of a Bitcoin ETF. According to CNBC, Peirce said a Bitcoin ETF approval is overdue and argued that the rejections for such funds are a kind of double standard.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Brazil Approves its First Ethereum ETF

Blockchain investment firm QR Capital’s Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been approved by Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM).

This first Ether ETF approval of the country comes just three weeks after their first Bitcoin ETF went public on the Brazilian Stock Exchange, which was approved in March.

QETH11 “will be listed on the B3, which becomes the 1st exchange in Latin America to have a 100% Ethereum ETF,” announced the firm on Twitter on Wednesday. The date of listing hasn’t been set yet.

This week, another manager Hashdex announced its Bitcoin ETF BITH11, which bets on neutralizing the carbon footprint of mining bitcoin acquired by the fund. It will be listed on the Brazilian stock exchange in the first half of August.

Brazil has also approved an ETF, HASH11, that invests in a basket of cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, QR Capital’s Ether ETF will track the same Ethereum index used by the CME Group, the CME CF Ether Reference Rate. QR Asset Management said.

“The Brazilian investor now has the possibility of exposure to the two largest and most valuable digital assets in the world, in a regulated, simple and secure manner. It is no longer necessary to register in exchanges, create private keys or worry about secure custody.”

QR Capital will use crypto exchange Gemini’s crypto custody solution to store digital assets.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Bull Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment and 21Shares File for A Bitcoin ETF

Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment is interested in a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Ark’s total ETF assets under management are currently at $47.8 billion, up from a 2021 low of $42.6 billion at the end of last month. Wood’s firm has taken in $15.8 billion in fresh cash this year.

After buying the latest dips on Coinbase (COIN) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) shares, Ark seeks to lend its name to a Bitcoin ETF.

The ETF is called “ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF,” which will trade under the ticker ARKB. It will be tracking the performance of the world’s largest cryptocurrency as measured by the S&P Bitcoin Index.

Lukka Inc. is the data provider and calculation agent for the Index with the current exchange composition of the Index, including Binance, Bitfinex, Bitflyer, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Coinbase Pro, Gemini, HitBTC, Huobi, Kraken, KuCoin, and Poloniex.

US-based 21Shares is an affiliate of Zug, Switzerland-based 21Shares AG, which is listed as a sponsor of the proposed ETF in the SEC filing Monday. For this, Ark Investment will be providing marketing assistance.

“This makes a lot of sense because Cathie is on the board of 21Shares, which is a big progressive crypto issuer in Europe,” said Eric Balchunas, ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

“This gives 21Shares penetration in the U.S. and it’s on-brand for Ark given how vocal and bullish they’ve been on crypto.”

Wood joined the board of Amun Holdings, the parent company of 21Shares, in May after personally investing in the company.

Regulators, however, have yet to approve a single Bitcoin ETF in the US while several have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which recently said that it was seeking more public comment on one such proposal.

“I don’t know if it increases the chances of it getting approved, but because she does have a loyal investor following when a Bitcoin ETF does get approved, she wants to be in the race,” said Mohit Bajaj, director of ETFs at WallachBeth Capital.

Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) holds GBTC. Should this Bitcoin ETF get approved, Wood can swap out of GBTC to hold shares of her own ETF, Balchunas said. Grayscale itself is planning to convert its closed-ended fund into an ETF.

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Author: AnTy

VanEck’s CEO Calls for Bitcoin ETF Approval Amid Intense Customer Demand

Following another delay in the approval of the VanEck Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the CEO of the investment firm has called for a prompt decision.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Jan van Eck urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve a Bitcoin ETF due to the high customer demand.

SEC Continues Delay In Approving VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF

Last week, the SEC postponed its decision on approving VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF for the second time.

The agency extended the review process till August 2021 while requesting public comments on the proposed rule change and if the ETF would be vulnerable to market manipulation.

During the interview on CNBC’s ETF Edge, van Eck highlighted the growing demand for a Bitcoin ETF, adding that investors are asking for a more efficient means of trading the premier digital asset.

The CEO also took a shot at the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the largest bitcoin-related fund on the market. He said that the only alternative to a Bitcoin ETF in the US is a closed-end fund that trades it at a 40% premium or 20% discount. VanEck added,

“Bitcoin futures … aren’t any better because of the shape of the futures curve. There’s a futures-based fund that underperformed bitcoin by 22% last year and 8% this year.”

Speaking on the frequent delays, VanEck said the April extension was only an artificial deadline. According to him, the SEC chairman was unwilling to prioritize or make a decision regarding a Bitcoin ETF.

Van Eck’s comments come amid his company’s continual attempt to have an exchange-traded product approved in the US.

The global investment firm currently has two ETF proposals with the SEC awaiting approval, a Bitcoin ETF and an Ethereum ETF.

VanEck filed the Bitcoin ETF last year intending to work alongside Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) on the proposed offering.

The Ethereum ETF, which is the first Ethereum ETF proposal in the US, was filed earlier this month. VanEck’s goal for this ETF is to expose retail and institutional traders to ETH without directly investing.

Meanwhile, the SEC has also delayed in approving ETFs from firms like WisdomTree, Kryptoin, and Fidelity Investments.

VanEck Files New Prospectus For A Bitcoin Futures Mutual Fund

As VanEck waits for the SEC’s final decision on its Bitcoin ETF, the firm decided to also file another draft prospectus for a BTC Futures Mutual Fund.

Dubbed the “Bitcoin Strategy Fund,” the fund is aimed at investing in BTC futures contracts, pooled investment vehicles, and ETPs with exposure to the largest cryptocurrency.

According to the prospectus, the fund will invest in Bitcoin futures through a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, and the portfolio will be managed by Gregory Krenzer.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

SEC Extends Kryptoin’s Bitcoin ETF Application By 45 Days

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the review period for Kryptoin’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

The regulator disclosed the update in a notice dated June 9. The SEC said its decision would be delayed for another 45 days, ending July 27, 2021.

SEC Delays Another ETF Application

The delay of the Delaware-based investment advisory firm’s application makes it the latest extension the SEC has announced in the last few weeks.

Last month, the SEC postponed WisdomTree’s Bitcoin ETF application review by 45 days. VanEck’s bid got a similar treatment in April.

According to the agency’s notice, Kryptoin’s application was delayed to allow it to have adequate time to consider the proposed rule change. The notice said,

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comments received.”

Kryptoin first applied for a Bitcoin ETF in 2019, and after a year and a half of inactivity, the firm filed for an amendment in April this year.

In its first filing, Kryptoin chose to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange but later changed it to Cboe BZX in its amended filing. Both WisdomTree and VanEck also named Cboe as their planned listing exchange.

The Kryptoin ETF provides exposure to Bitcoin using the CF Bitcoin US Settlement Price as its pricing mechanism.

Founded in 2016, Kryptoin Investment Advisors is a financial services company run by Jason Toussaint.

Will The SEC Approve A Crypto ETF This Year?

The US is yet to allow a Bitcoin-based ETF, with the SEC pointing to the Bitcoin market’s vulnerability to manipulation, among other concerns, as its rationale for rejecting all such applications.

At the moment, there are eight active ETF applications before the SEC. Apart from the previously mentioned VanEcK and WisdomTree, other firms that have filed for Bitcoin-based ETFs include NYDIG, Valkyrie, SkyBridge Capital, Simplify, and Fidelity.

WisdomTree and VanEcK are the only two companies that have also filed for Ethereum ETFs in addition to their Bitcoin ETFs.

This signifies that Ethereum ETFs are gaining more popularity as retail and institutional investors look to gain exposure to the digital asset without investing in it directly.

Several factors have driven Ethereum’s popularity and increasing institutional adoption among investors. These include decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and improvement in the crypto asset’s infrastructure. A planned upgrade from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) has also piqued investors’ interest.

If VanEcK and WisdomTree’s Ether ETF applications are approved, they would be the first set of Ether ETFs in the US, but not the first in North America.

Three Ethereum ETFs have already been approved and are available in Canada on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Canada has also approved several Bitcoin ETFs, and these funds have grown exponentially in a few months with massive investor interests. In the US, investors continue to be optimistic that the SEC’s new crypto-conscious chairman, Gary Gensler, will approve an ETF soon.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Vermont-Based Teucrium Files Bitcoin Futures Proposal With The SEC

Popular agricultural exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider Teucrium is joining a long queue of Bitcoin ETF hopefuls.

Teucrium Makes First Crypto Filing

The filing made on Thursday to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) looks to track a benchmark of Bitcoin futures contracts. If approved, the proposed ETF named Teucrium Bitcoin Futures Fund (BCFU) will be publicly tradable on New York Stock Exchange’s subsidiary Arca.

According to Teucrium, the BCFU would provide a cost-effective means through which investors can gain exposure to the volatile asset class. The Vermont-based ETF issuer also said that the proposed fund might show a disparity of figures between its shares and the spot price of Bitcoin as it is tracking the cost of the Benchmark Bitcoin Futures Contract and not directly investing in the digital asset.

This is the first crypto asset ETF proposal the agricultural ETF provider has filed. Its repository offers investors access to agricultural produce ETFs like Teucrium Soybean Fund, Teucrium Sugar Fund, Teucrium Wheat Fund, Teucrium Corn Fund, and the Teucrium Agricultural Fund.

Bitcoin ETFs have become the new mania in the US, given the surge of cryptocurrencies in the past few months. The world’s oldest cryptocurrency, which traded as low as $6,000 in 2018, has surged to over $64,000 three years after rising 90% in 2021 alone.

This exponential growth has seen the nascent industry cross the trillion-dollar mark in a few years.

Institutional investments have aided the growth of cryptocurrencies, but the underlying risks and volatility have made many others stand by the sidelines watching.

This is primarily due to the lack of regulatory oversight by the US government, and the regulatory uncertainty surrounding these virtual currencies has not helped issues.

ETFs are expected to serve as an indirect means to gain exposure to digital assets. A Bitcoin ETF would enable investors to track the price of BTC without necessarily worrying about the storage and other related complexities of owning digital assets.

Futures, on the other hand, would focus on the future price of the tracked asset.

One of the well-known futures issuers in the crypto space is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) which launched Bitcoin Futures in 2017 and Bitcoin Micro Futures in 2021. It also launched Ethereum Futures in Feb of this year.

SEC Not Ready To Approve Bitcoin ETFs

Despite the growing proposals on the SEC’s table, there has not been any indication that the regulator will approve any filing anytime soon.

The recent appointment of former MIT scholar Gary Gensler seemed promising, but the recent comments of the former crypto instructor have left little to be desired.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Gensler noted that the crypto market is highly “speculative” and needs to be regulated.

Teucrium joins a long list of ETFs like VanEck, NYDIG, and Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyCapital looking for approval.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Crypto Investment Firm Valour Unveils Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) ETPs

Crypto Investment Firm Valour Unveils Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) Exchange-Traded Products (ETPs)

Cayman island-based company, Valour Structured Products Inc, has joined the litany of companies launching exchange-traded products (ETPs)

Valour Launches Cardano And Polkadot ETPs

The digital asset investment firm revealed its two new ETPs, dubbed the Valour Cardano SEK ETP and the Valour Polkadot SEK.

According to the announcement, the Valour Cardano SEK ETP has been listed on the Nordic Growth Market (NGM) stock exchange today under the ticker CH111478796. On the other hand, the Valor Polkadot SEK would launch later this month under the code CH1114178770.

Valour had rolled out its Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) ETPs called Bitcoin Zero and Ethereum Zero prior to this.

According to Valour CEO Diana Biggs, the unveiling of the Cardano and Polkadot ETPs follows the success of the Bitcoin and Ethereum ETPs, which led to investors demanding more digital asset products.

“With the increasing development and understanding of these technologies, we’re thrilled to bring investors the most cost-effective and secure way to access investment in innovative protocols like Cardano and Polkadot.”

The CEO of DeFi Technologies, Wouter Witvoet, noted that Valour is focused on helping investors navigate the regulatory constraints in the crypto space by making it easier for them to access credible cryptocurrency investment opportunities.

Valour is a subsidiary of DeFi Technologies Inc. The issuer focuses on rolling out exchange-listed financial products that enable investors to gain exposure to popular digital assets simply and securely.

Cardano And Polkadot Enjoying Rising Global Demand

Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) currently rank among the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap. While Cardano has a market cap of $65 billion, Polkadot stands at $37 billion.

The altcoins are undoubtedly among the hottest altcoins in the crypto market right now as the crypto bull market continues to roar on.

The ADA coin has seen a lot of positive news surrounding it lately, one of which is the listing on Coinbase Pro.

In the same vein, Polkadot (DOT) has had a good run this year. DOT began the year strongly as its price rallied over 700% into the February high, securing its position as one of the largest cryptocurrencies.

It is no surprise that crypto ETP issuer 21Shares also has Polkadot and Cardano ETPs. 21Shares listed the DOT ETP in February 2021, while the ADA ETP launched in April, both on the Swiss SIX exchange.

At press time, ADA is trading at $2.08, while the DOT coin trades at $39.85.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

9th Bitcoin ETF Filed in the US; Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Joins the BTC Race

Billionaire Investor Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital has filed with the US SEC for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In the ongoing race to get the first Bitcoin ETF in the US, several companies, nine including Fidelity, VanEck, and NYDIG, have filed applications. Two applications are currently under review of the Securities and Exchange Commission while other applications have yet to have their exchange partners file their corresponding ones as well before the review process can be started by the SEC.

Galaxy is already a sub-advisor to the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF listed on Toronto Stock Exchange, which currently has just under $200 million in assets. Canada is actually leading North America in Bitcoin ETFs, with the first one ever Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) already holding 17,013 BTC ($1.24 billion CAD). In Feb., Novogratz said that,

“Crypto is being institutionalized at an accelerating rate, and now an ETF product is showing up in Canada first, it will show up in the U.S. next. It’s all part of this accelerating evolution of being a store of value.”

Last week, after a year and a half of hiatus, Kryptcoin also filed an amended application for a Bitcoin ETF.

“The Trust will hold bitcoin, process all creations and redemptions in-kind, and accrue its management fee solely in bitcoin,” reads the S-1 filing, which also mentions Gemini as custodian.

This time, the company plans to issue its shares on Cboe BZX Exchange; previously, it was NYSE Arca, just like WisdomTree and VanEck. Cboe has already filed its paperwork with the SEC to provide its services to VanEck’s offering.

There is a growing sense that a Bitcoin ETF might finally arrive in the US thanks to the nominated SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who has taught courses on cryptocurrency.

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Author: AnTy

100,000 BTC Scooped Up by Bitcoin Funds in the First 3 Months of 2021

Exchange-traded bitcoin investment vehicles now hold 4.3% of the circulating BTC supply, as per Arcane Research.

A steady amount of Bitcoin has been gobbled up from the market throughout the first quarter of 2021, as per the data shared by Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research.

Exchange-traded bitcoin investment vehicles had just under 695k BTC under management at the end of last year, which has increased to 800,416 as of March 26th. This represents 4.3% of the circulating bitcoin supply.

During the same period, the price of Bitcoin went up more than 100%, from about $27,500 to $55,000.

These Bitcoin-related products added more than 40k BTC in the month of January. While only half of this was added in February, and about 43,692 BTC were added in March. Overall, this year, 100,000 BTC have been absorbed by Bitcoin funds.

Combined, the exchange-traded bitcoin investment vehicles manage $43 billion worth of bitcoin, noted Lunde.

The world’s largest digital asset manager, Grayscale Investments, is the leader in the space, accounting for 82% of the market, managing $36.5 billion worth of bitcoin.

GBTC, meanwhile, continues to trade at a discount, currently at 7.27%, ever since earlier this month.

“It’s a perpetual security, and it charges 2% mgt fee per year. So if duration is 7-10 years, a 15-20 percent discount to NAV makes sense. That’s also where many closed-end funds trade,” commented Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital, which also holds GBTC shares, on the discount.

According to Novogratz, GBTC used to be “the only game in town,” which has now changed with the launch of several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) in Canada that too at a much lower fee.

“The ethos of crypto has always been about ‘transitioning’ to a world that eliminates the rent takers,” added Novogratz.

Arcane Research also noted that the three recent ETF approvals in Canada had pushed Grayscale’s dominance in the market on a decline. The combined AUM of the Purpose ETF, Evolve ETF, and Galaxy ETF has reached a market share of 2.5% in just a couple of weeks.

Grayscale is looking to turn its closed-end fund into an ETF and is currently hiring many executives.

This is why the market is seeing fee compression. Recently, NYDIG cut its cost to 0.30% of net asset value per year.

“Trying to transition the fund to an ETF is difficult but elegant. My firm belief is the community won’t allow rent takers for too long,” said Novogratz adding, “GBTC provided a huge service to the crypto community and accelerated adoption.”

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Author: AnTy