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The first Bitcoin ETF for "ordinary" investors to buy is almost here…
The Bitcoin Investment Trust got approval last week from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to sell its shares on the OTC Markets. It should start trading within the next couple of weeks. It is currently listed on the OTC Markets "pink sheets" under a temporary symbol, BTCV, but will have a permanent ticker of OTCMKTS: GBTC.
The fund gives investors a way to invest in Bitcoin without going to the trouble of buying Bitcoin and worrying about having a secure place to store it. It marks another step forward in Bitcoin's long march to mass adoption.
It also opens up Bitcoin ETF investing to regular investors…
How the First Bitcoin ETF Will Work
Strictly speaking, the Bitcoin Investment Trust is not an exchange-traded fund. It's a hedge fund exploiting a rule that allows owners of the shares to sell them to others after 12 months with FINRA approval. The fund was launched in September 2013, so that time limit has elapsed for the earliest buyers.
Until now, only accredited investors (individuals with at least $1 million in assets or net income of $200,000 a year) could buy shares. Now those shares can be re-sold into the market.
In practice, the BIT will function like a gold ETF. The Bitcoin Investment Trust will hold the actual bitcoins. And each share of the fund will be worth about one-tenth of a bitcoin.
The debut of the first publicly traded Bitcoin fund is a big positive for the cryptocurrency, but it gets better.