In the past 12 months, exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by Bitcoin have proliferated on Germany’s exchanges. An ETP gives investors a cost-effective way to gain exposure to Bitcoin that doesn’t involve “technical complications,” according to a press release from Iconic.
“Iconic’s mission is to drive the adoption of crypto assets by creating trustworthy investment vehicles for investors to seamlessly gain exposure to the evolving asset class,” Patrick Lowry, CEO of Iconic, said in a statement accompanying the release.
Iconic Funds’ Physical Bitcoin ETP is listed and begins trading on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra today!
— Iconic Funds (@iconic_funds) May 12, 2021
The Frankfurt-based startup is a joint venture between crypto-asset management group Iconic Holding and Cryptology Asset Group, which was founded by legendary entrepreneurs Christian Angermayer and Mike Novogratz .
ETPs and institutional investment in Germany
Financial Services company ETC Group became the first to launch a Bitcoin ETP in 2020, after Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, recognized cryptocurrencies as financial instruments. Since then others including Wisdom Tree and 21Shares have followed.
“There is massive and rapidly growing demand from all sorts of investors who want to access crypto assets,” said Michael Geister, Iconic’s Head of Crypto ETPs, when the startup’s product was first announced. He also noted that the European market for crypto ETPs has grown to over $5 billion in assets under management “in a short period of time.”
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Germany has passed key legislation to regulate and legitimize crypto assets over the past 18 months. In July, 4,000 Spezialfonds —a popular institutional investment vehicle—become eligible to invest in crypto assets when new legislation comes into force, theoretically opening the crypto market up to as much as €350 billion ($422 billion) worth of investment. German parliamentarian Frank Schäffler told Decrypt in April: “Here, the law is going in the right direction and we expressly welcome it.”