Fintech firm Amun AG, which currently offers crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) in Switzerland and Germany, has received regulatory nod to expand its offerings in the European Union (EU).
Announced Tuesday, Swiss-based Amun said the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA), or the Finansinspektionen, has approved its base prospectus to offer investment products tied to cryptocurrencies.
Amun currently offers nine cryptocurrency ETP products, including a bitcoin (BTC)-based ETP, an ether (ETH)-based ETP and an XRP-based ETP. These are currently offered in Switerzland and Germany via SIX Swiss Exchange, BX Swiss and Boerse Stuttgart.
ETPs are passive investment products that allow investors to gain access to cryptocurrencies without the need to hold them directly. With the SFSA’s approval in place, Amun has been authorized to offer these investment products in Sweden as well as the EU.
“We plan on passporting our Swedish EU approved prospectus around the continent” to offer all products, Hany Rashwan, co-founder and CEO of Amun, told The Block. On specifically choosing Sweden to get its base prospectus approved, Rashwan said Amun reached out to a few European regulators but chose the SFSA because it is a “forward-thinking regulator” and Sweden has a “highly crypto-engaged” population.
“We continue to engage with a number of regulators across the continent and intend to speak to more in the near future. The future of regulated crypto in Europe is quite bright,” Rashwan added.
Amun’s president Ophelia Snyder said the SFSA approval took 4 months of consultancy period and that there is a “strong” demand for ETPs in Sweden among both retail and institutional investors.
Amun is yet to announce which exchanges in the EU it will list its ETPs on. Rashwan told The Block that the firm is expecting to list it on “three European exchanges by end of 2020.”
With nearly $55 million in current assets under management (AUM), Amun is expecting to add another around $20 million from upcoming offerings in the EU, Rashwan told The Block.
Looking ahead, Amun is aiming to go global. “We’re on one continent; five more to go,” said Rashwan.
Amun is backed by Graham Tuckwell, an Australian multi-millionaire and the first person to set up an exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking the price of gold. Tuckwell led Amun’s $4 million seed round in March of this year.
Rashwan told The Block that the firm currently has no plans to raise more funds in the near future. Amun has a headcount of 18 and is looking to further expand its team next year, said Rashwan.
Crypto-tied investment products
An increasing number of firms, both from traditional finance and crypto space, are building and offering investment products tied to cryptocurrencies. Just last week, New York-headquartered WisdomTree, with over $60 billion in client assets, launched a physically-backed bitcoin ETP. Canadian asset manager 3iQ also recently filed a prospectus for a regulated fund tied to bitcoin. It could list on the Toronto Stock Exchange and start trading by end of this year.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also taking efforts as it approved a new bitcoin futures fund last week, which is managed by the $15 billion asset manager Stone Ridge. The fund will invest in cash-settled bitcoin futures and not directly invest in cryptocurrencies.
Other players offering investment products tied to cryptocurrencies include CoinShares' XBT Provider and Digital Currency Group’s Grayscale. The latter remains the market leader - it saw inflows rise by 200% in Q3 at $254.9 million. A market observer recently told The Block that Grayscale's availability on the public market holds strong appeal to both institutional and retail investors and some of Grayscale's offerings are traded at very high premiums on the secondary market.
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