Canada's main securities regulator has cleared the launch of the world's first Bitcoin exchange traded fund, an investment manager said on Friday, providing investors greater access to the cryptocurrency that has sparked an explosion in trading interest. Reuters reports: The Ontario Securities Commission has approved the launch of Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Toronto-based asset management company Purpose Investments Inc. said in a statement. The OSC confirmed the approval in a separate statement to Reuters. "The ETF will be the first in the world to invest directly in physically settled Bitcoin, not derivatives, allowing investors easy and efficient access to the emerging asset class of cryptocurrency," Purpose Investments said. Investors have been able to trade bitcoin using futures contracts on the CME derivatives exchange. They can also buy closed-end investment funds, such as the Bitcoin Fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange. [...] In the United States, eight firms have tried without success since 2013 to create a bitcoin ETF, according to Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at New York based CFRA. Among issues the Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be focused on are the potential for market manipulation and the process of custody audits that verify that a fund holds its purported assets.
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