Brazil and Dubai both launched their first Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) today.
In Brazil, QR Capital’s Bitcoin ETF QBTC11—approved by regulators in March—started trading on the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3).
While in the Middle East, Canadian asset management firm 3iQ’s Bitcoin ETF, started trading on the Nasdaq Dubai. It is the first crypto ETF in the region and was given the green light in April.
In Brazil, a crypto ETF that gives exposure to a number of assets—including Bitcoin—launched in April. QBTC11 is the first in the region that solely deals in Bitcoin.
Previously, crypto ETFs only operated in Canada, where there are several. There are a long list of companies hoping to get crypto ETFs approved in the U.S.
An ETF is an investment tool that lets people buy shares that represent an asset. This can be anything from real estate, foreign currencies, or Bitcoin.
Crypto ETFs are popular because investors simply buy shares that track the price of the asset and don’t have to worry about owning a cryptocurrency wallet and securely storing it.
Brazil’s QBTC11 was authorized by Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM, Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission) and the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3).
Dubai’s Bitcoin ETF is headed up by 3iQ, which has roughly $1.5 billion in assets under management. Its CEO, Fred Pye, said in a Reuters interview today that if the ETF was popular, the size of the fund would be increased.
So far, crypto ETFs have been extremely popular in Canada. When the first ones kicked off trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in February, they broke records: the Purpose Bitcoin ETF traded $165 million-worth of shares in its first day, including $80 million in its first hour.
Investors are hopeful that U.S. regulators will approve a crypto ETF this year. The SEC has repeatedly rejected Bitcoin ETF applications due to market manipulation concerns. There are currently nine Bitcoin ETFs up for the SEC’s review, though the Commission has so far delayed ruling on each one of them.
‘Anti-Money Laundering Is My Crypto Priority’: US Treasury Nominee
Brian Nelson said that implementing legislation targeting crypto money laundering would be his priority if confirmed to the U.S. Treasury.
“If I am confirmed, I will prioritize implementing that piece of legislation, including new regulations around cryptocurrency,” Nelson told the Senate Banking Committee in a confirmation hearing.
Previously, Nelson served as the deputy chief of staff of the Justice Department’s national security division.
The US and crypto
Nelson’s comments are in line with wider U.S. government rhetoric regarding crypto.
In June, Charles Rettig, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), said the United States needed explicit congressional authority to issue new regulations on cryptocurrencies.
“The most recent market cap in that world—the crypto world—exceeded $2 trillion and more than 8,600 exchanges worldwide. And by design, most crypto, virtual currencies are designed to stay off the radar screen, so—we will be challenged,” Rettig said at the time.
He added that the agency would need “additional tools” to better monitor the fast-growing industry.
In the same month, the Department of Justice announced that it would give ransomware attacks the same priority as terrorism—a move that came amidst the Colonial Pipeline attack, where the company reportedly paid a multi-million-dollar ransom in.
Elsewhere in the world, ties between cryptocurrency and terrorism financing reemerged when a senior Hamas official told the Wall Street Journal that the group has seen an increase in Bitcoin donations during the most recent conflict with Israel.
“There was definitely a spike [in Bitcoin donations],” the Hamas official said, adding, “Some of the money gets used for military purposes to defend the basic rights of the Palestinians.”