Toronto-based Purpose Investments has received the green light from Canadian securities regulators to launch a direct custody Bitcoin ETF.

Dubbed Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the new offering is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

It will enable investors to invest directly in physically settled Bitcoin instead of derivatives and will be directly backed by physically settled Bitcoin holdings.

The aim is to offer investors easy access to Bitcoin, without the related risk of self-custody within a digital wallet.

The firm said that it collaborated with the Ontario Securities Commission over several months to finalise the roll-out of the ETF.

Gemini Trust Company will serve as sub-custodian for the fund while CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company will be the fund administrator.

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By GlobalData

Purpose Investments founder and CEO Som Seif said: “Bitcoin has been gaining popularity among individual and institutional investors for years now, however it remains a difficult asset to gain efficient and secure exposure to.

“Purpose Bitcoin ETF will change the landscape for investors by giving them a simple, efficient and affordable way to directly access the cryptocurrency.”

Lately, various financial services firms have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon.

These include American asset manager BlackRock, which filed prospectus documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to add Bitcoin futures as eligible investments for two funds.

Besides, recently, Standard Chartered, through its innovation unit SC Ventures, partnered with Northern Trust to launch a cryptocurrency custodian for institutional investors. It will support various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereal, XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

In 2020, Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann also announced plans to offer its clients trading and custody of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.