Bitwise Asset Management has begun the regulatory process to launch a second cryptocurrency fund open to the public, one focused just on Bitcoin.
Its first fund, the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (BITW) debuted in early December and currently has close to $590 million in assets.
The new fund, the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund, has been available as a private placement to accredited investors since December 2018, like BITW was before its public launch.
“There is significant growth interest from professional investors in accessing bitcoin as a tool to hedge their portfolios against rising inflationary risks,” said Matt Hougan, Bitwise’s chief investment officer, in a statement.
”Financial advisors in particular are taking note of the large allocations that hedge funds, institutions, insurance companies and traditional asset managers are making to bitcoin,” Hougan explained.
If cleared by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund would be available to trade in traditional brokerage accounts.
Bitwise plans to list the fund on the OTCQX, the top tier of the over-the-counter market, and would charge a 1.5% expense ratio, compared with the 2% charged by the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and 2.5% charged by BITW, which includes other cryptocurrencies. Fidelity Digital Asset Services would serve as custodian.
A December 2020 Bitwise survey of 1,000 financial advisors’ attitudes toward crypto assets found that 9.4% were including cryptocurrencies in client portfolios and 17% were considering a crypto allocation in 2021.