Fidelity International launches physical Bitcoin ETP in Zurich


Fidelity International’s top priority is to provide investors with a new asset class at a competitive price.

London-based Fidelity International is launching a new bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) to satisfy Europeans’ appetite for virtual currency.

The exchange-traded product will be a physical bitcoin traded product called Fidelity Physical Bitcoin ETP. Professional and institutional investors can invest in this product domiciled in Germany. Fidelity’s physical Bitcoin ETP is listed on Xetra in Frankfurt. The product will be traded on the SIX stock exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. The custodian of the ETP is Fidelity Digital Assets. The ETP has a fee figure of 0.75% and $6 million in assets. The “physically backed” bitcoin will be held by Fidelity Digital Assets. Eurex Clearing will provide clearing services and Brown Brothers Harriman will be the administrator and transfer agent.

Fidelity Digital Assets is an offshoot of Fidelity Investments domiciled in the United States. Fidelity’s European managing director believes blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the financial world with “profound implications for investors”. Fidelity Investments offers a physical bitcoin ETF, domiciled in Canada, which has $30 million in assets.

Interest is high in Europe

A survey by Fidelity Digital Assets found that institutional interest in digital assets was high. The survey suggested that 70% of institutional investors expect to invest in cryptocurrency “in the near future”.

More than 90% of respondents interested in cryptocurrencies plan to include the asset class in the investment portfolio in five years.

“Offering institutional and professional investors access to this innovative asset class at a competitive price is our priority,” said Christian Staub, senior executive at Fidelity International.

Fidelity Digital Assets received the green light from UK financial regulator the Financial Conduct Authority to operate a custody and trade execution business last year. Fidelity Digital Assets branch has been promoted to FCA permanent register.

Fidelity Digital Assets entered the European market in 2019.

Nick King, head of ETFs at Fidelity Digital Assets, reportedly said the launch of the ETP “is the first step in our digital asset product capability.” Fidelity International’s offer is the cheapest offer available to European investors.

No spot ETF in the United States yet

Fidelity’s ETP product comes a few months after the launch of Invesco’s bitcoin ETP. In September last year, FINMA, the Swiss financial supervisory authority, granted two licenses to the company SIX Digital Exchange. This allows it to operate as a blockchain-based stock exchange and securities depository. A stock exchange is a market for the trading of securities, commodities and derivatives.

A bitcoin spot ETF has yet to be approved by US regulators, with several companies having had their proposed products rejected, although bitcoin futures products have been given the green light.

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