According to documents released by the regulator, NYDIG submitted an S-1 form seeking approval for the launch of a Bitcoin ETF on Feb. 16. The documents proposed NYDIG Trust Company LLC as the custodian of the Bitcoin that backs the fund. Financial services giant Morgan Stanley will distribute the ETF shares.
The news comes as Canadian regulators gave permission to launch ETFs to two companies in less than a week. The Ontario Securities Commission approved an application by Purpose Bitcoin ETF on Feb. 12, making it the first to win permission in North America. On Feb. 16, it approved an application from Evolve Funds Group.
Calling it “exciting news for investors,” Evolve President and CEO Raj Lala said, “Investors will be able to trade bitcoin on a regulated stock exchange… Unlike the technical challenges of investing in bitcoin, units of EBIT will be safely transacted via a familiar brokerage investing platform.”
The three U.S. applications are just the latest step in a years-long and so far useless battle by bitcoin proponents to launch an ETF in the U.S. But with anti-bitcoin SEC Chairman Jay Clayton replaced by a new, crypto-knowledgeable acting SEC chairman in Gary Gensler, many believe that is about to change.
In NYDIG’s application, Morgan Stanley would be tasked with distributing shares of the ETF at prices that mirror the value of the bitcoins backing them, as well as supply and demand. The offers will trade on the NYSE Arca exchange under a yet-to-be-resolved ticker image.
“The Trust’s investment objective is to reflect the performance of the price of Bitcoin less the expenses of the Trust’s operations,” NYDIG said in its filing. “The Trust will not seek to reflect the performance of any benchmark or index… In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the Trust will hold Bitcoin.”
The New York Digital Investment Group has been particularly active over the last few months. As Modern Consensus reported, at the end of last year the firm raised $100 million from a single investor and an additional $50 million from two more.