Canadian investment fund manager 3iQ received initial approval on its long road to launch a closed-end bitcoin fund on the Ontario Stock Exchange later this quarter.
The firm said on Wednesday that it received a favorable ruling before a panel of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for the Bitcoin Fund, noting the commission moved to direct the OSC Director to issue a receipt for a final prospectus.
“We have addressed the questions of pricing, custody, audit, and public interest issues in a regulated investment fund. We intend to refile the prospectus as soon as possible,” CEO Fred Pye said in a statement.
3iQ claims its entrant is “the first regulated, major exchange-listed” bitcoin fund in the world – the caveat being that other firms have launched similar products that are unregulated or on smaller exchanges. In June, Swiss-based Amun AG launched its exchange-traded product (ETP) using the Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index as a benchmark on the Swiss SIX Exchange.
3iQ had been working closely with the OSC’s Investment Funds and Structured Products Branch to create an investment fund allowing retail investors to participate in a regulated and listed fund, according to Pye.
New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust Company LLC will provide custody services to manage the bitcoin in the fund.
3iQ partnered with asset manager VanEck to develop an innovative bitcoin benchmark from VanEck’s MV Index Solutions, a regulated index provider in developing cryptocurrency indices and data series.
VanEck withdrew its own exchange-traded fund application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in late January 2019.
In April, 3iQ acquired the rights to manage First Block Capital’s funds, including the FBC Bitcoin Trust and FBC Distributed Ledger Technology Adopters ETF, while First Block has a strategic investment in 3iQ.