Europe has welcomed its first physically-backed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), a notable milestone for crypto adoption on the continent.
The Jacobi Asset Management Bitcoin ETF launched August 15 on Euronext Amsterdam, allowing investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements through a regulated stock exchange product.
The ETF tracks Bitcoin’s price using the FT Wilshire Bitcoin Blended Price Index. It touts a renewable energy focus and custody from Fidelity Digital Assets.
A Long-Awaited Debut
Jacobi first revealed plans for a European Bitcoin spot ETF in 2021. But navigating regulatory approvals delayed the launch over a year.
Now the product has finally debuted in Amsterdam as the continent’s inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF. This allows investors to buy and sell the ETF like a stock while getting Bitcoin exposure.
“Europe’s progressive stance on Bitcoin investment for institutional investors is commendable,” said Jacobi CEO Martin Bednall.
Unlike Bitcoin futures ETFs, a spot ETF directly holds the underlying crypto assets to back shares. This gives more direct price correlation.
Emphasizing ESG angle
Jacobi emphasized the ETF’s focus on environmental sustainability. It uses a verified system to offset the fund’s carbon footprint through retiring renewable energy credits.
The company said this sets it apart from traditional carbon offsets and allows investors to meet ESG mandates while accessing Bitcoin.
“Witnessing its realization as Europe’s first Bitcoin ETF is a monumental industry achievement,” said Zumo’s Kirsteen Harrison, who collaborated on the renewable credit solution.
While Bitcoin’s energy use has long been an environmental concern, asset managers are finding ways to offer climate-friendly crypto investment vehicles to attract capital.
Paving the Way
Though European regulators were slower to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF than in Canada, Jacobi’s product is unlikely to be the last.
The launch “marks a pivotal moment for both the digital asset and traditional finance industries,” said Wilshire Indexes CEO Mark Makepeace.
With this first spot ETF, Europe joins North America in allowing direct Bitcoin exposure via a stock exchange-traded product.
Analysts say the flexibility and convenience of accessing crypto investments through traditional brokerage accounts and tax-advantaged vehicles could draw fresh institutional interest.
Jacobi’s green-focused spot ETF may set the stage for further mainstream adoption.