Ontario Securities Commission approves first bitcoin ETF in North America

Canadian traders will soon be able to invest in bitcoin after Ontario’s security regulator gave North America’s first bitcoin ETF a green light.

The Ontario Securities Commission Thursday approval means investors will effectively be able to buy and sell bitcoin without needing a digital wallet.

An exchange-traded fund, or ETF, is security similar to a mutual fund, except it trades on a stock exchange like conventional securities. The new bitcoin ETF will be trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BTCC.B.

A fact sheet on the ETF describes potential investors as those willing to take on considerable risk considering the volatility of cryptocurrency markets. 

“The ETF invests in bitcoin. Given the speculative nature of bitcoin and the volatility of the bitcoin markets, there is considerable risk that the ETF will not be able to meet its investment objectives. An investment in the ETF is not intended as a complete investment program and is appropriate only for investors who have the capacity to absorb a loss of some or all of their investment,” writes Purpose Investments, the firm managing the ETF.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have entered the spotlight in recent weeks after several institutional announcements and investments. 

Recently, Mastercard announced it would allow vendors to support cryptocurrency purchases on its network. 

“Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice,” said Mastercard executive vice president Raj Dhamodharan. 

“Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want.”

Earlier this week, an institutional purchase of $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin by the electric vehicle company Tesla also gave further legitimacy to investing in cryptocurrencies. 

According to some crypto enthusiasts, the purchase by Tesla could prompt other companies to consider adding the cryptocurrency to their investment portfolios. 

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