Fidelity Investment Officially Launches Spot Bitcoin ETF In Canada

Fidelity’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Debuts Trading in Canada

Fidelity Investments Canada made history as the largest asset manager to launch a bitcoin ETF, as well as a mutual fund. The Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF and the Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF Fund officially launched in Canada on Thursday (Dec. 2, 2021).

The Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF started trading under two ticker symbols “FBTC” and “FBTC.U”, for the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar versions respectively, on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While the Bitcoin ETF invests directly in BTC, the Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF Fund, which is the mutual version, invests in the ETF.

A statement by the Senior Vice President, Products and Marketing of Fidelity Investments Canada ULC,Kelly Creelman, said:

“As Bitcoin and digital currencies are gaining recognition among investors, we are pleased to offer a professionally managed bitcoin ETF and ETF Fund supported by the strength and scale of Fidelity.”

Also, the announcement noted that the company was eager to offer Canadians exposure to Bitcoin in a secure manner. According to Creelman:

“Whether it is to diversify a portfolio, hedge against inflation or to gain exposure to an emerging asset class, we are excited to bring our innovative investments to the market and offer Canadian investors an opportunity to get exposure to Bitcoin and help them meet their financial goals.”

U.S. SEC not Ready to Approve a Spot Bitcoin ETF

Meanwhile, the latest development confirmed earlier reports that the company was awaiting approval to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF in Canada. Speaking on the matter at the time was Bloomberg’s Senior ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, who said:

“This should be embarrassing for the SEC that one of America’s biggest, most storied names in investing is forced to go up North to serve its clients, But it prob won’t matter.”

Fidelity decided to move to Canada after its application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not receive a response from the regulatory body. Also, the launch of the ETFs comes shortly after the Fidelity Clearing Canada (FCC) received approval to become the country’s first Investment Industry Regulatory Organization ofCanada (IIROC), enabling FCC to offer digital assets trading and custody services to institutional investors.

Canada has been known to approve several bitcoin ETFs since 2021, with the first Bitcoin ETF in North America coming from the country. However, the neighboring U.S. has been skeptical when it comes to approving applications that seek directly obtain physical bitcoin, claiming that such funds did not offer adequate investor protection.

Instead, SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler earlier implied that the regulator favored an ETF based on Bitcoin futures contracts. The first of such ETFs was approved back in October.

Meanwhile, the SEC’s reluctance to greenlight a spot Bitcoin ETF gas received criticisms, with Grayscale Investments recently expressing its displeasure at the way the securities regulator was treating spot Bitcoin ETF applications in a letter to the commission. Referring to the rejection of VanEck’s application on November 12, Grayscale said:

“We believe this rationale failed adequately to take account of significant regulatory and competitive developments since 2017 when the Commission first considered, and denied, a national securities exchange’s application to list and trade shares of a spot Bitcoin ETP.”

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