Bitwise has filed for a new Bitcoin ETF with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The ETF would track the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index.
That index 'seeks to capture the full value of an investment in Bitcoin, inclusive of meaningful hard forks'. So far, the SEC has not approved any Bitcoin ETF, but Bitwise believes this fund 'can provide the SEC with the type of information and data the agency has indicated it needs to fully evaluate Bitcoin ETFs.'
This ETF is different from other ETFs because 'it will rely on regulated third party custodians to hold its physical Bitcoin, and in that the index draws prices from a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges, representing the majority of currently verifiable bitcoin trading.'
Read more: Could a Bitcoin ETF get auto-approved during the government shutdown?
Global Head of ETF for Bitwise, John Hyland, is optimistic 2019 will be the year that a Bitcoin ETF launches. "We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year", Hyland says in a statement. "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."
Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research, says that 'the SEC has asked thoughtful and relevant questions about the quality of the crypto trading ecosystem, the reliability of crypto pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function in crypto and the robustness of crypto custody. We have spent the past year researching these questions and look forward to discussing those findings with the SEC staff in connection with the filing and listing application.'
Read more: Why hasn't the SEC approved a Bitcoin ETF yet?