Canada Approves First Blockchain ETF as Two Others Await Blessing

Canada-based Harvest Portfolios has obtained approval for its blockchain ETF, which will start trading next week on the TSE. Two other fund providers plan to launch similar products.

Harvest Portfolios has secured regulatory approval to launch a blockchain-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), which will be the first of its kind in Canada. The company has submitted a final prospectus with local securities regulators and will list the vehicle on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE). Two other local ETF providers hope to get clearance for similar funds.

The interest in blockchain keeps growing as investors accept it for a genuine technology while demand for Bitcoin is waning. In mid-January, we reported that Harvest Portfolios was seeking approval for an ETF that monitors blockchain-oriented companies. It can now go live following the receipt of permission from the Ontario Securities Commission. The fund is called Blockchain Technologies ETF, uses the ticker HBLK, and has a commission of 0.65%.

Harvest Portfolios had hoped to roll out the first such fund in North America but managed to blaze a trail only in Canada. On January 17, US-based Amplify Investments and Reality Shares launched blockchain ETFs with the tickers BLOK and BLCN, respectively. Now the funds have become some of the most popular among new ETFs.

HBLK will track the movement of the Harvest Blockchain Technologies Index, which relies on large-cap blockchain companies and blockchain-oriented startups.

Starting from next week, investors can trade HBLK on the TSE.

Elsewhere, two Canadian fund providers – First Trust Portfolios Canada and Evolve Funds Group – are looking for approval from regulators for their own blockchain ETFs.

First Trust plans to launch the First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF with the ticker BLCK, which will track the Indxx blockchain Index. If it goes live, the management fee will be 0.80%.

Evolve Funds wants to start its ETF next Thursday. It will use the ticker LINK and charge a management fee of 0.75%, tracking companies involved in the development, research, and utilization of distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Raj Lala, president and CEO of Evolve, was cited as saying by the Globe and Mail:

“Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt virtually every business and industry, including financial services, real estate, health care and government.”

“Currently, at the base of every digital currency, many compare blockchain to the second coming of the Internet. I believe we are Canada's first actively-managed blockchain ETF, which will allow us to be nimble and potentially capitalize on emerging opportunities,” he added.