Jacobi Asset Management claims it will launch the world's first 'tier one' bitcoin ETF

Jacobi Asset Management announced Friday that it has received approval to launch what it calls the world's first “tier 1” bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The firm says the term reflects the top-tier partners supporting it.

The new bitcoin ETF has authorization from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), Jacobi said in a press release. Jacobi said it plans to list the fund on the pan-European equity exchange Cboe Europe, pending listing approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  

Fidelity Digital Assets will provide custody for the ETF, which Jacobi describes as a “centrally cleared crypto-backed financial instrument.” 

“Tier one is a term used by Jacobi to describe the ecosystem of Tier 1 partners,” a Jacobi spokesperson told The Block in an email. “We are in the process of listing on a Tier 1 exchange and all the firms supporting the fund are top tier.”

Jacobi told The Block that the ETF is “fully regulated” and that its team has been working on securing regulatory approval for more than nine months. The firm says that it will be the “first European ETF wholly invested in Bitcoin,” joining only two others worldwide in Canada and Brazil

While Europe has several issuers of exchange-traded products (ETPs) such as CoinShares, Jacobi says its bitcoin ETF's regulated status will set it apart from other products in the market.

In the FAQ section of its website, Jacobi explains that ETFs differ from ETPs like exchange-traded notes (ETNs) and exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) in several areas, including their structure, settlement, regulation and liquidity. 

“None of the ETPs in Europe are regulated because they’re all ETNs,” the Jacobi spokesperson told The Block. “The Jacobi Bitcoin ETF will be the only regulated crypto product and is approved as an ETF.”

The Jacobi bitcoin ETF has a $100,000 minimum and is only open to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors, its FAQ states. 

Jacobi Asset Management, which launched in May, is led by former Goldman Sachs investment banker Jamie Khurshid.