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No, Europe Did Not Launch Spot Bitcoin ETF

Tue, 08/15/2023 - 16:30
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Alex Dovbnya
Amid claims from notable social media accounts and crypto media outlets about introduction of Europe's first spot Bitcoin ETF, group of industry experts has stepped in to correct narrative
No, Europe Did Not Launch Spot Bitcoin ETF
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In the wake of prominent social media accounts and crypto media outlets claiming the launch of Europe's first spot Bitcoin ETF, industry experts have come forward to debunk the misleading information.

Patrick Hansen, a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency domain, clarified that the European Union's regulatory guidelines prohibit the use of ETFs for single assets like Bitcoin or gold.

He further highlighted that Guernsey, the location where the product is registered, is not a member of the EU. Instead, Hansen emphasized the existence of Bitcoin ETPs (Exchange Traded Products) in the EU for several years. These ETPs, structured as debt securities, mirror Bitcoin's performance.

ETF James Seyffart noted the abundance of spot Bitcoin ETPs already available in Europe. He described the announcement as a mere "regulatory arbitrage type of technicality" and advised against mislabeling it as the "first European spot bitcoin ETF." For clarity, an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is an investment fund traded on stock exchanges, typically holding multiple assets. On the other hand, ETP is a more encompassing term that includes products like ETFs and can also represent single assets.

Gabor Gurbacs, who manages VanEck's digital asset initiatives, further distinguished between European ETFs and ETPs. He confirmed that any product labeled as an ETF in Europe must be diversified, negating the existence of a "spot Bitcoin ETF." Gurbacs, with his experience at VanEck, also shared that his team had been instrumental in launching one of the physical Bitcoin ETPs in Europe.

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He criticized the misleading nature of both the article and the tweet, explaining that a Guernsey-registered product cannot be distributed in Europe without the necessary registration. He further clarified the EU's stance on the term "ETF," emphasizing that it cannot be used for products that are not diversified. Gurbacs also pointed out Guernsey's status as a U.K. self-governing dependency, not an EU member.

Europe has already seen a slew of crypto ETFs, including some products for exotic altcoins, but the U.S. is yet to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF despite approving futures-based products in late 2021.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at