The UK has approved the trading of products in cryptocurrencies

The UK joins other countries that have also opened the doors to cryptocurrency trading.

Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The UK’s financial regulator has approved the first cryptocurrency trading products, a move to catch up with other financial centers in digital assets.

WisdomTree said it has received the green light from the Financial Conduct Authority to list a pair of physically backed exchange-traded cryptocurrency products that track Bitcoin and Ether on the London Stock Exchange. WisdomTree said in a statement on Wednesday that the products could start shipping as early as May 28. Invesco Digital Markets confirmed in a statement that the company has received approval for a Bitcoin ETP and also expects trading to begin on May 28. .

ETC Group, 21Shares and CoinShares are among other issuers that have applied to list their cryptocurrency products in the UK. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website showing approvals lists entries from WisdomTree, 21Shares and Invesco Digital Markets Plc as of 12pm on Wednesday. This was the deadline to be included on the first day of trading.

Although all products listed will directly contain Bitcoin or Ether, they are only available to professional investors under the rules set by the Financial Supervision Authority. This is a tougher stance than in the US, where a new generation of Bitcoin ETFs approved in January now oversee a combined total of $59 billion, nearly five times the total cryptocurrency vehicles traded in Europe. .

Cryptocurrency-related ETP products have been listed on other European exchanges for years. The success of products approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in January pushed bitcoin to a record high in March and paved the way for its broader adoption by retail and institutional investors.

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Hong Kong has also allowed ETFs in bitcoin and ether, but has received a lukewarm response from investors there.

ETC Group said its application is still ongoing, while 21Shares confirmed that its application has been approved.

CoinShares declined to comment, as did the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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