Wisdomtree has filed for a commodity fund with 5% exposure to bitcoin, in a fresh attempt to bring an exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by the benchmark cryptocurrency to the market.
According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the fund is targeting to invest mainly in energy, industrial metals, precious metals, and agriculture commodities primarily through futures contracts.
If approved, the Wisdomtree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund will also put up to 5% of its net assets in cash-settled bitcoin (BTC) futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the world’s third-largest regulated BTC futures market.
While that makes BTC a small fraction of the fund’s total investment portfolio, it can still make a significant impact within a market desperate for a product that helps retail investors gain bitcoin exposure, without actually owning any coins.
“The fund will not invest in bitcoin directly,” notes the filing of June 16. Wisdomtree is an asset management company operating out of New York. It manages more than $60 billion worth of assets.
The firm’s new hybrid application will once again test the SEC’s appetite for a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund. Until now, the regulator has repeatedly rejected pure bitcoin ETF proposals from Bitwise, Gemini and Wilshire Phoenix citing possible manipulation of the bitcoin market, custody issues and a lack of central control among other factors.
Meanwhile, institutional interest in BTC continues to grow, with demand for CME bitcoin futures and the open interest reaching a record high of nearly $500 million in May. Billionaire fund manager Paul Tudor Jones last month also expressed interest in bitcoin futures, claiming to have 2% of his assets in the cryptocurrency.
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