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WisdomTree to list crypto products on London Stock Exchange




By Reuters | Updated: May 22, 2024

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator has approved WisdomTree’s (WT.N) bid to list exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether on the London Stock Exchange, the asset manager said on Wednesday ahead of an expected launch this month.

The approval comes after Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in March approved the launch of what it called “cETNs” – cryptoasset-backed exchange traded notes – for professional investors.

Investors are increasingly buying cryptocurrencies via ETPs, even as regulators warn about the risks.

Bitcoin’s price surged after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved bitcoin exchange-traded funds in January, and cryptocurrencies have gained in recent days on expectations that the SEC will approve a similar product for the second-biggest cryptocurrency, ether .

The two WisdomTree products give investors exposure to the underlying cryptocurrencies: one for bitcoin and one for ether. They are expected to be listed on May 28, WisdomTree said in a statement, adding that it was “amongst the first issuers” to have its crypto ETPs approved by the FCA.

“While UK-based professional investors have been able to allocate to crypto ETPs via overseas exchanges, they will soon have a more convenient access point,” said Alexis Marinof, head of Europe at WisdomTree.

“FCA approval in this respect could result in greater institutional adoption of the asset class.”

The FCA has warned that cryptocurrencies are highly risky and largely unregulated.

It bans selling them to retail investors, saying the products are “ill-suited for retail consumers due to the harm they pose”.

“Those who invest should be prepared to lose all their money,” the regulator said in March.

@ Thomson Reuters 2024

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