These Aren’t the First

While BlackRock and Fidelity are making headlines in the US, other jurisdictions have already rolled out products.
July 15, 2023
Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

In a previous blog, I wrote how the largest financial institutions in the world are filing applications for spot bitcoin ETFs (a specific type of exchange traded product (ETP)).

As part of my Friday series where I bring these concepts to life, I want to talk about a specific example. For today’s piece, let’s look at jurisdictions outside the United States, as innovation is moving at a more rapid pace with clearer regulatory guidelines.

21Shares, who some would argue is the world’s largest crypto ETP issuer, has an existing bitcoin ETF product that’s listed on several well-known exchanges outside the USA.

Source: 21Shares

Let’s jump in.

From publicly available sources, here’s what I can find:

  • ABTC is the official name for the bitcoin ETP, and it was officially launched in February 2019
  • The ETP is 100% backed by bitcoin and has $324M USD Assets Under Management (AUM)
  • Uses Coinbase for custody
  • Uses Flow Traders and GHCO as market makers
  • 21Shares ABTC is a Swiss regulated financial product
  • Made notable headlines in the fall of 2022 when they listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange, bringing the first product of its kind to the Middle East

Pretty interesting.

While it’s not on the scale of what a BlackRock or Fidelity might bring, it’s an important case study in understanding that there is real innovation happening outside the United States. It’s significant because it proves the model.

While the US regulatory system carries weight internationally, and arguably key financial institutions and investors have remained on the sideline to-date due to unclear rules — there’s a massive potential for this model to be rolled out at scale if these products do get approved.

Only time will tell!


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Disclaimer: the content written in this article is solely for information purposes and does not convey financial advice. It is not intended to be a recommendation for bitcoin nor against, but rather an informational piece on the current state of spot bitcoin ETFs and the details behind them. Do your own research.

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