BlockFi officially launches its new Bitcoin Trust

BlockFi has gone live with its new Bitcoin Trust, according to a Tuesday announcement. 

The firm registered the trust with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last month, per a public filing. With Tuesday's launch, BlockFi's bitcoin-focused trust joins the small but growing ranks of investment vehicles that aim to connect the crypto world with institutional investors. 

"The Trust will issue shares via private placements, and the investment objective of the Trust is for the value of the shares to reflect the value of BTC held by the Trust less the Trust's expenses and other liabilities. Trust shares will be available to global institutions and other qualified investors in the near-term, and later this eligibility will be expanded to include accredited individual investors in the U.S," BlockFi said Tuesday.

Custody of the bitcoins associated with the trust will be held by Fidelity Digital Assets, the crypto-focused arm of investment giant Fidelity Investments. Coin Metrics provides the index and pricing data for the trust, with Grant Thornton LLP serving as auditor.

BlockFi Management, the sponsor of the trust and a subsidiary of BlockFi itself, charges a sponsor fee of 1.75%, per Tuesday's statement. 

"Given the level of institutional activity in recent months and demand for new, professional-grade investment vehicles, the timing of BlockFi Bitcoin Trust is ideal. As we work to broaden the availability of this vehicle to retail brokerages, we expect this product will facilitate greater investments in digital assets - at the core of BlockFi's mission in bridging crypto with traditional finance," Zac Prince, BlockFi's CEO, said in a press statement.

Last month, The Block Research profiled BlockFi's efforts to become a neobank for the crypto space. As noted at the time, BlockFi brought in some $100 million in revenue for 2020, buoyed by its lending business and other service offerings.

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