Schwab files with SEC to create 'Crypto Economy ETF'

Investment brokerage Charles Schwab filed to create a "Crypto Economy ETF" on Thursday, according to regulatory filings.

As stated in the filing:

"The fund’s goal is to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the total return of an index that is designed to deliver global exposure to companies that may benefit from the development or utilization of cryptocurrencies (including bitcoin) and other digital assets, and the business activities connected to blockchain and other distributed ledger technology."

The fund, as structured, is intended to track the performance of a Schwab Crypto Economy Index. Which specific firms the index will track is unknown as of press time. If approved, the ETF would trade on the NYSE Arca exchange. 


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Schwab's filing also made clear that the ETF would not invest in cryptocurrencies themselves. 

"The fund will not invest in cryptocurrency or digital assets directly," the firm wrote. "The fund will not invest in initial coin offerings. The fund may, however, have indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies by virtue of its investments in companies that use one or more digital assets as part of their business activities or that hold digital assets as proprietary investments."

As The Block reported last year, Schwab has been eyeing the crypto space, though the firm's leadership has pointed to regulatory uncertainty as a hindrance. 

Walt Bettinger, the firm's CEO, pointed to those concerns in a January interview with Bloomberg. Still, he told the news outlet that crypto is "hard to ignore."