US crypto investors looking for an ETF can turn to Sweden

It probably won't be until the end of September before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) publishes its decision on the latest Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) to cross its desk.  The SEC has yet to approve any BTC ETF and it's unclear whether or not the latest request will be any different.  In the meantime, however, investors wishing to participate in a crypto-based ETF can turn to Sweden. 

While not exactly an ETF, Sweden's CoinShares Holdings offers an exchange-traded note (ETN) that is traded on the NASDAQ Stockholm stock exchange.  The ETN, called Bitcoin Tracker One, is open to US investors and has been available since 2015.  According to CoinShares CEO Ryan Radloff, “Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona. Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin.”

An ETN is a debt instrument that is backed by an issuer, such as a bank.  ETFs, on the other hand, are tied directly to assets. 

The BTC ETF, which would be offered by VanEck and the SolidX financial service company in the US, follows several ETFs already presented to the SEC, most notably by the Winklevoss brothers.  The three times the Winklevoss brothers have tried to have their BTC ETFs approved, they were all denied.  However, the SEC issued its denial within a few days or a week, at the most.  The VanEck ETF was expected to receive approval or denial this month, but the SEC has announced that it is delaying making its decision until the end of September.  That might actually be an indication that the agency is more seriously considering the prospect of allowing the ETF, which could open the doors for other crypto investment products and greater institutional investments. 

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