Canada’s First Regulated Bitcoin Fund Enters the Market

- September 10th, 2018

First Block Capital launched the FBC Bitcoin Trust in September 2017 to accredited investors. Now it has received mutual fund status and is available on the Neo Connect under the symbol “FBCBT.”

Good news, Canadian cryptocurrency enthusiasts: the first regulated bitcoin fund now officially has mutual fund status, which means accredited investors can soon begin hold bitcoin investments in their registered accounts. 

On Monday (September 10), First Block Capital announced that its flagship product, FBC Bitcoin Trust, launched on the NEO Connect under the symbol “FBCBT.”

Qualified investors will now be able to store bitcoin in a registered account similar to a tax-free savings account (TFSA) or registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).

 

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“Today, for the first time in Canada, accredited investors working with investment advisors can seamlessly take positions in Bitcoin through the FBC Bitcoin Trust,” Joe Schmitt, president and CEO of NEO Connect, said in its press release.

The FBC Bitcoin Trust was first introduced in September 2017 as a private placement offering of units to credited investors without having to acquire, store or manage the underlying bitcoins.

Now, with the fund’s launch on the NEO Connect, investment advisors can buy and exchange the FBC Bitcoin Trust for their accredited investor clients like an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Users look up symbols with their existing equity trading tools and then choose how many units they want to buy.

Daily settlements have also been authorized, which has effectively removed the 30 day redemption clause that was previously in place.

The fund is the only product of its liking approved on the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).

“At First Block, we provide investment exposure to Bitcoin by removing the complicated barriers to investing directly in the cryptocurrency,” Sean Clark, co-founder and CEO of First Block Capital, said in NEO Connect’s press release. “As the market leader in providing investment vehicles based on blockchain and cryptocurrency in Canada, we are very happy to make our fund more accessible to the accredited investor community.”

According to Neo Connect, the exchange allocates 46 funds from three access managers in 15 dealer networks. In total, there are C$600 million in assets served.


Click here to see a recent Wealthsimple article on Tax-Free Savings Accounts. This is an unpaid link INN has exchanged with Wealthsimple.


Marc van der Chijs, First Block Capital’s co-founder and chief investment officer, said the company aims to make investments in the digital currency asset class easily accessible.

“[W]e are one step closer to achieving this goal by allowing unit holders to place units in government sponsored tax efficient vehicles, and by providing daily liquidity through NEO Connect, a fund distribution platform with a rapidly growing dealer network,” van der Chijs said in the company’s press release.

First Block Capital estimates that accredited investors will be able to start moving units sometime this month. Transfers will also be handled by registered broker dealer firms close to First Block Capital in anticipation of the fund’s launch.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, remains as volatile as ever: the crypto-mammoth has had its fair share of highs and lows throughout the summer months, reaching a two-month high on July 28 at US$8,183.19. As of 4:48 p.m. EST on Monday, bitcoin’s price was US$6,309.29.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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