Digital asset and blockchain company Galaxy Digital has forged an alliance with Itaú Asset Management to introduce crypto-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Brazil.

Under the partnership, the companies have developed their first physically backed digital asset ETF, called IT Now Bloomberg Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BITI11).

BITI11 has already started trading on Brazil’s B3 Stock Exchange under Itaú Asset’s ETF portfolio, known as IT Now Series.

It will allow investors to gain access to Bitcoin, stated Galaxy.

Both Galaxy and Itaú Asset also plan to add new solutions to the digital asset sector in future.

Itaú Asset head of beta strategy and ESG integration Renato Eid Tucci said: “We aim to offer the best solutions to our clients to meet their investment needs in a diversified way and with an international scope.

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“This partnership combines the solidity and credibility that we have built over more than 60 years at Itaú Asset with the strength and expertise of Galaxy as one of the most experienced players in the global digital asset space.”

Part of Itaú Unibanco, Itaú Asset currently has around $165bn in asset under management (AUM).

The company has operations across São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as well as New York and Santiago, Chile.

Galaxy Digital global head of asset management Steve Kurz said: “Our shared mission is to satisfy the strong demand in the region for high-quality education and access to the growing crypto economy.”

In September last year, Galaxy teamed up with investment management company Invesco to launch various funds supported by cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.