UK’s First Bitcoin ETP Ready for June Debut As Institutional Interest Grows

London-based exchange services group Aquis Exchange has announced the imminent launch of a Bitcoin Exchange Service Product (ETP), BTCE, on its platform. 

BTCE, which will be the very first Bitcoin ETP in the UK market, will go live on June 7 and will trade via Aquis Exchange’s several trading facilities based in London and Paris. Transactions are said to take place using specific fiat currencies namely Pounds Sterling (£), Euros(€), Swiss Francs (SFr), and US dollars($). The SIX Swiss Exchange will provide central clearing.

BTCE is the brainchild of Digital Assets Securities Provider ETC Group. The product closely tracks the price of Bitcoin. By holding it, investors get exposure to Bitcoin without owning the asset itself. Worth noting is that ETC Group will store the BTC backing the funds’ holdings.

In the past few years, attempts for crypto-backed funds and products to be reviewed and listed on UK exchanges have been unsuccessful. This is a result of cryptocurrency regulators in the UK being cautious about the unregulated nature and volatility of cryptocurrencies.

The launch of BTCE can however steer past all this because its transactions will be cleared in Switzerland, a country where cryptocurrencies are legal and allowed to operate freely.

Concerning the reason for BTCE’s launch, ETC Group chief executive Bradley Duke said: “We have seen many investors recognize the benefits of including secure crypto ETPs like BTCE in their portfolios as an effective hedge against inflation.”

He concluded: “…bringing our flagship bitcoin product to the Aquis Exchange was a logical step as institutional demand for exposure to crypto grows around the world.” ETC Group said its research discovered that most institutional investors (53%) would rather get exposure to Bitcoin via an ETP.

In a similar development, Coinfomania recently reported that South Africa is anticipating the launch of its first ever Bitcoin Exchange Fund (ETF). Similar to efforts to list crypto-backed funds and products that were unsuccessful in the UK, South Africa’s first attempt to launch its ETF, were also futile but could see headway in the coming months. 

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