The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the world's first exchange-traded fund that is physically backed by the biggest digital currency, is making its debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange today.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) greenlit its launch earlier this month, marking a watershed moment for the industry.
The very first ETF was designed by Canadian asset manager Purpose Investments. The company’s founder and CEO, Som Seif, says that the cooperation with the OSC was instrumental in launching the novel product:
The OSC was a crucial working partner in the launch of Purpose Bitcoin ETF and we are grateful for their willingness to work with us through this process. Their cooperation and guidance made it possible for us to move forward on getting this novel ETF into the hands of investors.
In a recent Financial Post interview, Seif mentioned that it took his company over eight months of work with regulators to get the ETF approved:
We worked really hard over the last eight months with the regulators here in Canada to really help them understand and overcome the hurdles they were really facing around the asset.
Canada leading the charge
While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continues dragging its feet on the Bitcoin ETF, the Canadian regulator has already approved the second exchange-traded fund from Evolve Trust earlier this week.
Canada also outpaced its southern neighbor in the launch of the first marijuana-backed ETF back in 2017.
Existing Bitcoin trusts offer exposure to the cryptocurrency at a premium to its net asset value and cannot continuously issue new units, which is why the industry is clamoring for an ETF.