Fidelity Investments unveiled plans on Wednesday to launch an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of bitcoin, fueling the money manager’s push to bring cryptocurrencies into mainstream finance.
The ETF, called the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, will aim to match an index that takes the spot prices of various bitcoin markets, including popular exchanges, Fidelity said in a securities presentation. Fidelity Digital Assets will act as custodian of the fund, storing Wise Origin holdings.
The ETF, which requires approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, would mark a major step forward in the company’s bitcoin ambitions. If approved, the ETF could be available for purchase on the large brokerage and wealth management platforms that monitor trillions of dollars in assets of individual investors.
The SEC has repeatedly rejected applications for bitcoin ETFs, preventing investors from buying on the market through a financial vehicle whose low fees and tax advantages have helped change the way equity and bond funds are sold. . But the industry remains hopeful that some funding will eventually be achieved.
Fidelity was one of the first major financial firms to embrace cryptocurrencies as an asset class, and its CEO, Abigail Johnson, has long championed the market’s potential. The money manager’s support was an important milestone for a market that faced reluctance from Wall Street over concerns about risk, regulations and stability. That resistance has faded as the prices of bitcoin and other popular digital assets have risen, drawing interest from investors large and small.