The Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) is set to become the first publicly traded bitcoin fund, having received approval from FINRA, the largest independent securities regulator in the US.
The trust, which launched as a private fund for accredited investors in 2013, is not technically an exchange-traded fund (ETF). To speed up the process of approval, the BIT has made use of a legal loophole that enables public fund holders to sell their shares after a 12-month period.
Barry Silbert, creator of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, said:
"Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) shares have been assigned a temporary ticker symbol by FINRA in connection with approval of the Form 15c-211 filed by the BIT’s market maker. The permanent ticker symbol will be GBTC and is expected to be effective shortly."
He added that, despite the fact that the trust had been assigned a ticker symbol "no assurances can be given as to when or if such trading will commence, or that an active public secondary market for BIT shares will develop or be maintained".
Silbert also confirmed that his firm Grayscale Investments is also working through the approval process to enable the BIT's shares to be quoted under the Alternative Reporting Standards on OTCQX, "the top marketplace operated by OTC Markets Group".
Competition on the way
The Bitcoin Investment Trust, which is only open to high-income and institutional investors, is expected to compete with a bitcoin ETF planned by the Winklevoss twins.
However, the twins' proposal is currently undergoing a lengthy registration approval process with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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