'Short Bitcoin' ETP Available to Investors on Germany's Second-Largest Exchange

The new listing makes inverse trackers widely accessible to European retail investors.

AccessTimeIconFeb 25, 2020 at 3:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. UTC

A "short bitcoin" exchange-traded product (ETP), which inversely tracks the value of the top cryptocurrency by market cap, is now available to investors throughout Europe.

Swiss crypto product provider 21Shares, formerly known as Amun, said Tuesday its new "SBTC" tracker product would be available to both institutional and retail investors on Boerse Stuttgart, the second-largest stock exchange in Germany.

21Shares Managing Director Laurent Kssis told CoinDesk this would be the first inverse bitcoin tracker tradable in euros, making it accessible to a much wider variety of investors, retail and institutional, based across the European Union.

Most trackers are currently listed in U.S. dollars, which comes with "high hand grenade fees" for European traders, according to Kssis. The new Boerse Stuttgart listing means retail investors are no longer "lumbered with fees and some pretty wide FX rates" from their brokerages, he said.

Fully hedged against the underlying bitcoin (BTC) at a 1:1 ratio, 21Shares launched its SBTC tracker on the Swiss stock exchange (SIX) in January. The tracker moves inversely to the BTC spot price: Should the bitcoin price fall by $100, the SBTC tracker will increase by the corresponding amount.

21Shares CEO Hany Rashwan told CoinDesk at the time the product made bitcoin shorting simpler. Rather than taking out a capital loan or taking a risk on trying to sell at the right time, investors purchase SBTC as they do a stock without incurring interest payments.

SBTC positions reset at the end of each day, meaning performances do not roll over from one day to the next. Investors are liable to pay a management fee for every day they hold the tracker.

"The German market has been very vocal about being able to buy cryptocurrencies as well as going short and having some sort of protection," explained Kssis. "For those who want to have some sort of protection, this is a great way to cover their long position."

Listing on Boerse Stuttgart has "fast-tracked" the SBTC tracker, making it available for purchase on most Europe-based online brokerage platforms, Kssis said. He added that 21Shares has now filed a prospectus with the Swedish authorities to have it listed there, too.

The firm reached industry-wide attention when, as Amun, it released its bitcoin ETP product on the Swiss SIX Exchange in October 2018. Since then the company has expanded its offering to include products tracking many other large-cap cryptocurrencies, as well as coin bundles giving investors exposure to selected market segments.


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