After spending much of 2019 unsuccessfully lobbying to get its exchange-traded fund, or ETF, approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, investment management fund VanEck has finally launched a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded product.
However, according to a Nov. 25 tweet from the company’s digital asset strategist Gabor Gurbacs, the product is an exchange-traded note rather than an ETF, and is listed not on a U.S. exchange, but Germany’s Deutsche Börse Xetra.
Rather than being a mutual fund, an ETN is essentially a debt instrument tracking a sometimes hard-to-access market, in this instance, Bitcoin.
The VanEck Vectors Bitcoin ETN is 100% backed by physical Bitcoin (BTC) and offers investors direct exposure to the Bitcoin market in the trusted format of other regulated exchange-listed products. Product manager Dominik Poiger explained:
“Our Bitcoin ETN is fully collateralized. This means that the money invested in the ETN is actually used to buy Bitcoin. In this way, each ETN represents a certain amount of Bitcoin.”
The Bitcoin will be deposited and held in cold storage by Liechtenstein-based crypto custodian Bank Frick.
VanEck put a lot of effort into trying to persuade the SEC to approve its Bitcoin ETF throughout the first part of 2019, but to no avail, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange withdrew the proposal in September, a month before the final decision was due.
As Cointelegraph reported, the company recently published research showing that Bitcoin is less volatile than many stocks listed on the S&P 500.