Asset management giant Fidelity files for a bitcoin ETF

A new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that asset management giant Fidelity is seeking to create a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF is the latest entrant in a growing race to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded product in the United States. According to the filing, a firm called FD Funds Management LLC is the sponsor of the fund, with Fidelity Service Company, Inc. serving as administrator. Per the document, FD Funds Management LLC shares the same Boston, MA address as Fidelity's headquarters.

Fidelity Digital Assets, the asset manager's crypto-focused arm, will serve as custodian. 

The ETF, if approved, will also employ Fidelity's in-house bitcoin price index, per the filing.

"The Trust’s investment objective is to seek to track the performance of bitcoin, as measured by the performance of the Fidelity Bitcoin Index PR (the “Index”), adjusted for the Trust’s expenses and other liabilities," the filing notes, explaining elsewhere:


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"The Trust provides direct exposure to bitcoin, and the Shares of the Trust are valued on a daily basis using the same methodology used to calculate the Index. The Trust provides investors with the opportunity to access the market for bitcoin through a traditional brokerage account without the potential barriers to entry or risks involved with holding or transferring bitcoin directly, acquiring it from a bitcoin spot market, or mining it."

The fund's name is similar to the Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, launched in August 2020 by Fidelity. As reported at the time by Bloomberg, that passively-managed fund was Fidelity's first foray into offering a bitcoin-only fund product to qualified investors.

"The digital assets ecosystem has grown significantly in recent years, creating an even more robust marketplace for investors and accelerating demand among institutions. An increasingly wide range of investors seeking access to bitcoin has underscored the need for a more diversified set of products offering exposure to digital assets," a Fidelity spokesperson told The Block.

Fidelity's effort represents the sixth of its kind within the U.S., joining WisdomTree InvestmentsVanEck Associates Corp.NYDIG Asset Management, First Advisors/SkyBridge and Valkyrie Digital Assets

Market-watchers have speculated that recent ETF developments in Canada may spur regulators in the U.S. to action on a bitcoin ETP. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.