Fund Management

Canadian Watchdog Gives Nod To Nation's "First" Bitcoin Fund House

Josh O'Neill, Assistant Editor, 8 September 2017

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The open-ended unit trust fund was first launched last July.

Canadian regulators have approved what is supposedly the country’s first investment fund manager dedicated to crypto-currency exposures. 

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) gave Vancouver-based First Block Capital the green light to operate as an investment fund manager and an exempt market dealer in order to launch a bitcoin investment fund in Ontario and British Columbia. 

"Crypto-currency investments are a new and novel form of investing in Canada," said Zach Masum, manager, legal services, capital markets regulation, and leader of the BCSC's technology team in a statement. "We have seen from the market and from investors that there is a strong appetite for access to these kinds of investments. This first registration allows access to bitcoin investments, while providing the BCSC with unique mechanisms to monitor operations in a rapidly developing area."

The regulatory approval comes as bitcoin and other crypto-currencies continue to draw intensified scrutiny from regulators globally because of their potential to facilitate money laundering, as well as risks associated with fraud and cyber-theft

First Block Capital launched the Canadian Bitcoin Trust last July to offer accredited investors exposure to the price fluctuations of bitcoin through an open-ended unit trust fund. 

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