And then there were 11: Another fund joins the US spot bitcoin ETF fold

A BTC futures fund offered by Hashdex and Tidal Investments has gotten regulatory clearance to hold bitcoin directly

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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Crypto asset manager Hashdex’s bitcoin futures fund is now able to hold BTC directly — finally joining a segment that has seen heavy demand over the past two-plus months.

The Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF (DEFI), which launched in September 2022, has been renamed the Hashdex Bitcoin ETF — retaining the same ticker on NYSE Arca. 

The change reflects a new investment strategy, effective Wednesday, by which the fund intends to invest at least 95% of its assets in spot bitcoin, the company said. 

Up to 5% of DEFI’s remaining assets may be invested in bitcoin futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), as well as in cash or cash equivalents.  

While Hashdex is the fund’s crypto adviser, Tidal Investments is DEFI’s sponsor.

The change comes nearly 11 weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission cleared 10 spot bitcoin ETFs to launch in the US.

Industry watchers had expected Hashdex to convert the futures fund to a spot bitcoin ETF on Jan. 11 with that group of products. 

Hashdex Chief Investment Officer Samir Kerbage said in a Jan. 10 statement that the company was well-suited to be among the first US products offering investors exposure to spot bitcoin pricing given its “extensive experience” running spot bitcoin ETFs in other regions.

But the Brazil-based fund manager clarified in a news release the following day that it was still awaiting clearance from the SEC before changing DEFI’s name and investment strategy.

Though the SEC approved proposals by stock exchanges Nasdaq, NYSE Arca and Cboe BZX to list 11 spot bitcoin ETFs, including Hashdex’s, the regulator did not allow Hashdex’s registration statement to go “effective” — a necessary step before DEFI’s investment change could be made official.

Hashdex’s transformed ETF joins a category that has so far thrived — tallying net inflows of $11.7 billion since hitting the market, according to BitMEX Research data.

The segment collectively notched positive net flows on Monday and Tuesday following a record five straight days of net outflows for the 10 funds.

Bitcoin’s price hit a new all-time high — above $73,000 — earlier this month. It stood at roughly $70,100 at 7:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, up about 13% from a week ago.


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