Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Adopts Open Strategy Ahead of Blockchain Fork

The provider of a bitcoin ETN has said that it will track what the market considers to be "bitcoin" following a possible network split next week.

Jul 28, 2017 at 9:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:46 a.m. UTC

The provider of a bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) in Sweden has said that it will track what the market considers to be "bitcoin" following a possible network split next week.

XBT Provider AB released a statement outlining its plans ahead of what could be a split in the bitcoin blockchain on August 1, one pursued by the proponents of an alternative implementation called Bitcoin Cash. The first of two ETNs launched by XBT Provider went live in mid-2015 following approval by the Swedish government.

The firm said that, as the ETN holders don't actually possess any bitcoin, they won't be directly affected. But XBT Provider said it is moving proactively to protect the bitcoin holdings that the ETN tracks, steps which include safeguarding the assets themselves in the event of a chain split.

"The Guarantor's group companies have moved as much of their bitcoins held on account as is practicable in the circumstances to custodian infrastructure that will support both coins should a new coin result from the anticipated fork," the company stated.

Ultimately, the firm said it will align with whichever chain the market deems to be "bitcoin", explaining:

"The Issuer wishes to further clarify that its Certificates are designed to track "bitcoin" and not any alternative coin which results from a forking event and which shared a common transaction history prior to the fork. Therefore, the Issuer's Certificates will, after a fork, be referenced to the coin which the bitcoin community and exchanges define, and consider to be, 'bitcoin'."

This approach isn't set in stone, however, as XBT Provider will undertake a three-month observation period, during which it will wait and see which chain comes to attract the most support.

Train yard image via Shutterstock

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