The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has blocked the filings of Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) even after the launch of Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017. The regulator now seems closer to accept this financial instrument, but some investment firms chose not to wait and get creative. REX Shares is about to launch BKC, its Blockchain ETF.
Bitcoin Trader and Blockchain Advisor Brian Kelly to Manage REX Shares Blockchain ETF
REX Shares, LLC is a Connecticut-based financial services firm founded in 2014 who is tapping the digital currency market via the launch of ETFs that track the performance of cryptocurrency-related firms. Like the Winklevoss twins and 16 other companies, REX Shares first filed for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC. The financial watchdog, however, kept the filings pending until Greg King, CEO of the firm, decided to withdraw. King told Bloomberg that the firm is about to launch a blockchain ETF instead.
“The Bitcoin ETF was technically withdrawn”, as he explained that not being in the filing process allowed him to talk about the issue. “But we do have a blockchain ETF that we are hoping to launch in the upcoming weeks. We’re excited about that because we think investors want exposure to this technology and we have partnered with a portfolio manager who runs a crypto hedge fund, so he’s going to be an active manager for this ETF.”
Active management for an ETF is an unusual method, given that ETFs traditionally follow a passive index. King argued that REX Shares is taking an active approach because investors want exposure in companies who are invested in or developing distributed ledger technology.
The active manager Greg King was referring to is Brian Kelly, the CNBC ‘Fast Money’ Correspondent who has been a Bitcoin investor since 2013 and the author of ‘Bitcoin Big Bang.’ Kelly has 25 years experience managing macro, currency, equity, and cryptocurrency strategies, and has served on Board of Advisors for tZero, Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, and the CME Bitcoin Futures Board.
Brian Kelly has founded his own fund, BKCM, which manages a long/short hedge fund focusing on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Monero, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. He is now also managing REX Shares Blockchain ETF, BKC.
In the interview, REX Shares King explained how the turning point was in 2015 when the CFTC said bitcoin is a commodity, which led King to file for a Bitcoin ETF based on futures contracts. Little did he know these would only be launched in December 2017.