Fidelity Plots Crypto Industry, Metaverse ETFs

Filings come hours after the SEC denied fund group’s spot bitcoin trust


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key takeaways

  • Fidelity’s filings come after BlackRock moved last week to launch a blockchain ETF
  • A metaverse ETF by Subversive Capital began trading on Thursday, and others are expected to launch in the coming weeks

Fidelity Investments is looking to launch ETFs that would invest in companies involved in the metaverse and the broader crypto industry.

The financial services titan submitted proposals to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF and the Fidelity Metaverse ETF, according to a pair of Thursday disclosures.

The crypto industry fund would primarily invest in the stocks of companies included in a Fidelity index comprising businesses “engaged in activities related to cryptocurrency, related blockchain technology, and digital payments processing,” according to its preliminary prospectus

BlackRock filed for a blockchain ETF last week, and industry watchers predicted that the plans could cause large competitors to follow suit.  

The Fidelity ETF would not invest in digital assets directly, or indirectly via crypto derivatives.

Also tracking a Fidelity index, the proposed metaverse ETF has earmarked at least 80% of assets to the securities of companies “that develop, manufacture, distribute or sell products or services related to establishing and enabling the metaverse,” a separate filing states.

Subversive Capital launched a metaverse ETF Thursday, and other similar products by  First Trust and ProShares are expected to come to market in the coming months. 

A Fidelity spokesperson declined to comment.

The ETF plans come the same day the SEC denied the fund group’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, which would invest in bitcoin directly. 

“While we are disappointed by the outcome of the SEC’s deliberations resulting in today’s disapproval order, we reaffirm our belief in market readiness for a physical bitcoin exchange traded product and look forward to continued constructive dialogue with the SEC,” a Fidelity representative told Blockworks in an email.

The firm believes that the maturation of bitcoin’s spot and futures markets satisfies the SEC’s standards, the spokesperson added, noting the gold, silver, platinum, palladium and copper products that currently trade. 

“The digital assets ecosystem has grown significantly in recent years, creating an even more robust marketplace for investors and accelerating demand,” the representative said. “An increasingly wide range of investors seeking access to bitcoin has underscored the need for a more diversified and sophisticated set of products offering exposure to digital assets.”

While the company is still angling for a physically backed Bitcoin ETF in the US, Fidelity’s Canadian subsidiary recently launched a spot bitcoin ETF. The product so far has $24 million assets under management.

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