Fidelity International Launches Physical Bitcoin ETP in Zurich

Updated by Ryan James
In Brief
  • Fidelity International launches physically-backed exchange traded product in Zurich.
  • Surveys done by Fidelity indicate significant institutional interest in cryptocurrencies in Europe.
  • Fidelity’s ETP will trade on the SIX stock exchange, and listed on the Xetra in Germany.
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Fidelity International’s top priority is to provide investors with a novel asset class at a competitive price.

London-based Fidelity International launches a new bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) to satisfy the appetite for virtual currency amongst Europeans.

The exchange-traded product will be a physical bitcoin exchange-traded product called Fidelity Physical Bitcoin ETP. Both professional and institutional investors can invest in this German-domiciled product. Fidelity’s Physical Bitcoin ETP is listed on Xetra in Frankfurt. The product will trade on the SIX stock exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. The custodian for the ETP is Fidelity Digital Assets. The ETP has a charge figure of 0.75% and $6M in assets. The “physically-backed” bitcoin will be held by Fidelity Digital Assets. Eurex Clearing will offer clearing services, and Brown Brothers Harriman will be the administrator and transfer agent.

Fidelity Digital Assets is an offshoot of US-domiciled Fidelity Investments. The European managing director of Fidelity opines that blockchain technology has the ability to disrupt the financial world with “profound implications for investors.” Fidelity Investments offers a physical bitcoin ETF, domiciled in Canada, that has $30M in assets.

Interest is high in Europe

A Fidelity Digital Assets survey revealed that institutional interest in digital assets was high. The survey suggested that 70% of institutional investors expected to invest in cryptocurrency “in the near future.”

Over 90% of respondents interested in cryptocurrencies anticipate to include the asset class in the investment portfolio in five years.

“Providing institutional and professional investors access to this innovative asset class at a competitive price point is our priority,” says Christian Staub, a senior executive at Fidelity International.

Fidelity Digital Assets was given the green light by the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to operate a custody and trade execution business last year. The Fidelity Digital Assets arm has been promoted to the FCA’s permanent register.

Fidelity Digital Assets entered the European market in 2019.

Nick King, head of ETFs at Fidelity Digital Assets, is quoted as saying the ETP launch “is the first step in our digital assets product capability.” Fidelity International’s offering is the cheapest offering available for European investors.

No spot ETF in the U.S. yet

Fidelity’s ETP product comes a few months following Invesco’s bitcoin ETP launch. In September last year, FINMA, the Swiss financial watchdog, granted two licenses to the firm SIX Digital Exchange. This allows it to operate as a stock exchange and depository for blockchain-based securities. A bourse is a marketplace for trading securities, commodities and derivatives.

A spot bitcoin ETF has not yet been approved by U.S. regulators, with multiple companies having their proposed products rejected, although bitcoin futures products have been given the green light.

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