The Italian Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, this morning listed a “Bitcoin (BTC)-thematic” exchange-traded fund (ETF) by Melanion Capital, bringing Bitcoin exposure to Italian institutions and retirement plans.
Cyril Sabbagh, managing director at Melanion Capital told Cointelegraph, „the Melanion BTC Equities Universe UCITS ETF is an equity ETF around stocks in the crypto ecosystem.” Sabbagh explained that the ETF would be “accessible to as many people as possible.”
“The Italian Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana) has not accepted any ‘spot ETFs’ but welcomes our thematic ETF!”
Following the successful launch of a Bitcoin-thematic ETF in October 2021 on Euronext Paris, a Pan-European stock exchange, Melanion Capital targeted Italy for its ETF. Sabbagh explains:
“In Europe spot ETFs (exchange traded funds) are ETNs (exchange traded notes) or ETCs (exchange traded certificates) and as such carry counterparty risk and are not UCITS (the highest regulatory standard for a fund in Europe).”
The Bitcoin ETF also allows savers to gain exposure to Bitcoin in their retirement plans due to the UCTIS specification:
„Today, investors are frustrated that they cannot integrate a crypto allocation into their traditional investment envelopes. Indeed, investors will be able to integrate our ETF into their securities accounts, life insurance policies and even their retirement savings plans (this is already the case in France).”
Nicolas Bertrand, advisor and ambassador of the Global Blockchain Business Council, and a former board member of Borsa Italiana, told Cointelegraph that “Italian investors and traders showed early interest in trading Bitcoin and other digital assets.”
Related: Bitcoin investment giant Grayscale debuts ETF in Europe
Despite sluggish price action and calls for a sub $20,000 Bitcoin, Bertrand highlights the interest in digital assets:
“From my position of adviser of a number of crypto exposed businesses and my direct contact to investors, I can confirm that there is a significant level of interest and that a number of firms are getting ready to embrace digital assets.“
Plus in Italy, Bertrand shares that investor appetite for Bitcoin is robust, particularly prior to 2021, “Italy was in the top 10 globally in terms of volume of activity on Bitcoin and a number of trading venues have emerged offering direct access to these markets.”
Across the road from the Borsa Italiana, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, will soon open an office, while th European Central Bank shared that cryptocurrency ownership in European households is thriving.