Fidelity’s ‘Physical’ Bitcoin ETF Starts Trading In Canada

Fidelity Canada has launched its spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) offering in the country, the company said in a statement Thursday. The asset manager, now the largest to offer a bitcoin ETF, has also launched a mutual fund.

The Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF has begun trading in the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol FBTC for the Canadian dollar version and FBTC.U for the U.S. dollar version. The Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF Fund is the mutual fund version of the offering and invests all of its assets in the ETF.

“We are pleased to offer a professionally managed bitcoin ETF and ETF fund supported by the strength and scale of Fidelity,” said Kelly Creelman, Senior VP of products and marketing at Fidelity Canada, in the statement.

Fidelity Investments Canada ULC is the Canadian arm of Fidelity Investments Inc. In November, the asset manager received approval from the country’s regulators to launch an institutional bitcoin trading and custody platform, Fidelity Clearing, which is leveraged by the bitcoin ETF launched today. It is the first Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to offer bitcoin trading and custodian services for institutional investors there.

The Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF invests in actual bitcoin differently than the products available in U.S. markets. In October, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first bitcoin-linked bitcoin ETF in the U.S.; however, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF invests in bitcoin futures contracts. Increased costs and risks associated with this type of investment vehicle have led to other asset managers dropping filings for future listings and pressure to mount on the SEC to approve a spot offering in American markets.

In March, Fidelity filed to list a spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S., but it is unclear when the country’s regulators will follow suit in approving a convenient avenue for direct bitcoin exposure. The first product of its kind to launch in North America was listed in Canada in February, and increased appetite from investors hasn’t yet resonated with the SEC.

The commission has claimed “there isn’t enough investor protection” in bitcoin markets yet for enabling the launch of a spot bitcoin ETF. Its chief, Gary Gensler, spoke yesterday on the matter, listing some requirements issuers would need to abide by for a listing to occur. The SEC has a growing pile of filings on its desk awaiting approval.