Blockchain ETF Approved By Canadian Regulators

Blockchain, News, Regulation | February 5, 2018 By:

Canadian investment management firm Harvest Portfolios has secured regulatory approval from the Ontario Securities Commission to launch a blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Harvest Portfolios’ Blockchain Technologies ETF (HBLK) will be Canada’s first blockchain exchange- traded fund. It is designed to provide Canadian investors access to the developing blockchain technology sector. It will invest in equity securities of issuers exposed, directly or indirectly, to the development and implementation of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT). HBLK will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange this week.

Two other Canadian companies, First Trust Portfolios Canada and Evolve Funds Group, are also seeking to launch blockchain funds, and presented their preliminary prospectuses with Canadian regulators last week.

First Trust, which already has a US blockchain ETF trading under the LEGR ticker, is looking to launch the First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF, which will aim to replicate the performance of the Indxx blockchain index. With the ticker BLCK, it is the second fund provider to file an index fund with regulators in Canada and, if approved, will have a management fee of 0.80 percent.

“Every conversation we are having with clients – regardless if we are talking about a Canadian equities product or a US equity product – inevitably leads to [a discussion about] blockchain or bitcoin,” said Karl Cheong, head of ETFs for First Trust Portfolios Canada, in a report.

Evolve Funds Inc. claims that its proposed blockchain ETF, known as LINK, would be the first “actively managed” available to Canadian investors. The product will position the company to “capitalize on emerging opportunities in the industry.” LINK will aim to actively invest in equity securities of issuers that are involved in the research, development, or utilization of blockchain technologies, or involved in the supply chain for blockchain applications including technology hardware.

Last month, two blockchain ETFs started trading on Nasdaq and NYSE Arca. Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF is traded on the Nasdaq with the ticker BLCN. Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF is traded on the NYSE Arca with the ticker BLOK and has an expense ratio of 0.70%.