Is 'Bitcoin Tracker One' The Closest Thing American Investors Can Come To An ETF?

The last year or so has seen cryptocurrency owners disappointed time and again as the SEC delays or refuses to sanction an ETF product based on Bitcoin that will (in HODLers' minds) bring a new influx of activity and interest into the space, sending prices surging higher.

Each time news picks up about "Bitcoin ETF", the price of Bitcoin has gained, only to fade with the SEC's rulings...

But perhaps that is all about to change.

While it's not the rainbow unicorn ETF that so many hope for, Bloomberg reports that beginning today, investors can trade in an exchange-traded-note called Bitcoin Tracker One.

Unlike exchange-traded funds, ETNs are debt instruments that are backed by their issuers -- often a bank -- rather than a pool of assets and often focus on esoteric strategies that don’t easily fit in a fund.

Though it's technically listed and regulated in Sweden (started trading on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange in 2015), it's now quoted in U.S. dollars under the ticker CXBTF, helping brokerages offer it to American investors.

“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona,” said Ryan Radloff, the chief executive officer of CoinShares Holdings Ltd., the parent of the company that offers the ETN.

“Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin.”

They picked a good day to launch as safe-haven flows amid the chaos in the financial markets sparked a notable bid in Bitcoin itself...

Which - although amid extremely low volumes - pushed the Bitcoin Tracker ETN higher...

Trading Bitcoin Tracker One is now similar to buying an American depositary receipt, in that traders will see a foreign-listed asset in U.S. dollars. Investors can purchase so-called F shares, which means that while the trades are executed in U.S. dollars, they are settled, cleared and held in custody in its home market, according to OTC Markets Group.

Bitcoin Tracker One may give investors an alternative to Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, which also offers exposure to Bitcoin but trades at a dramatic premium to the underlying asset.

“I do see this as a competitive product,” Radloff said.

“Our products historically have not traded at a premium and are liquid.”

Was today's ramp in Bitcoin about BTFD or safe-havens? Or was it due to CXBTF flows? We shall see.