The first regulated Bitcoin product in Europe begins trading this week on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse of Germany. The internet-based currency can be used to transfer money immediately around the world, free of charge and with no need for third-party checks. It is accepted by several major online dealers and is used in more than 200,000 everyday transactions. It cost has been unsettled, peaking at more than$1,200 in late 2013 before crashing after the collapse of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. It has since maintained somewhat, trading at around $655 on Monday, up more than 50 percent this year.
BitcoinETI will be available through regulated brokerages across Europe, and settlement will be handled through Clearstream and Euroclear, the Gibraltar Stock Exchange said, rather than via bitcoin’s shared ledger system, the blockchain. In the United States, where regulation of bitcoin and financial technology more broadly turn to be more difficult, twins Cameron and Tyles Winklevoss entrepreneurs who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their concept have been waiting for confirmation for a suggested bitcoin exchange traded fund for three years. Their proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust would be the first ETF issued by a U.S. entity that invests solely in bitcoin. Another ETF issued by New York-based ARK Investment Management last year became the first ETF to invest in bitcoin, but it also invests in other fintech companies.
The new European ETI, issued by Gibraltar-based iStructure PCC and sponsored by one of its subsidies, Revoltura, comes as a result of talks between stakeholders, including the Financial Services Commission Gibraltar’s regulator and the British Overseas Territory’s government. CEO of Revoltura, Ransu Salovaara said, “by listing the ETI on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which is an EU-regulated market, we are able to bring a high level of transparency and liquidity to shareholders”.