Three new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on the cryptocurrency Ether are launching on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Wednesday.
CI Global Asset Management, Purpose Investments and Evolve ETFs will be launching the world's first Ether-based ETFs just months after the launch of Canada's first Bitcoin-based ETFs.
Purpose Investments and Evolve ETFs are already boasting $12.8 million and $2.8 million of Ether assets under management (AUM) by their companies respectively, while CI Global has not yet published such information.
Ether is second only to Bitcoin in both market value and market capitalization. Ethereum, the blockchain network which supports the cryptocurrency Ether, is the world's most commonly used blockchain.
An ETF is a financial security which tracks a bundle of assets. In the context of cryptocurrency, an ETF will track one or more digital token on a mainstream securities exchange, allowing investors interested in cryptocurrency to invest in such assets without going through the hassle of maintaining a digital wallet of cryptocurrency for themselves.
CI Global and Evolve ETFs have both temporarily waived their management fees until Jun 15 and May 31 respectively in a bid to secure a higher market share early on. Purpose Investments have not waived such fees.
Ether saw a small boost in value upon the announcement of the new ETFs, with the price surpassing $3,000 CAD for the second time this month.
The move comes as the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to deliberate on whether to allow cryptocurrency ETFs to launch on their own stock exchanges, signalling a greater degree of comfort with alternatives to fiat currency north of the border.
Multiple attempts to launch cryptocurrency-based ETFs in the United States have been rejected since 2013. However, the SEC is now considering whether to allow the mutual fund manager VanEck to launch a Bitcoin-based ETF. VanEck submitted an application to launch the ETF in December of last year, and a decision from the SEC is expected to come at the end of April.