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The listing of Bitcoin ETP on the Vienna Stock Exchange opens up a compliant entry channel for investors



According to a Decrypto report on September 2, the Vienna Stock Exchange (Wiener Börse), one of the largest stock exchanges in Central Europe, recently listed its first cryptocurrency product. Experts in the region say that while this is a strong signal of cryptocurrency adoption, these exchange-traded products (ETPs) could also cause the true value of cryptocurrencies to be overlooked.

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The single-asset product, issued by Swiss financial technology company 21SharesAG under the trading symbol ABTC, aims to track the investment performance of Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value, and Ethereum, the second-largest altcoin by market value.

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In other words, customers of the Wiener Börse exchange can now gain exposure to cryptocurrencies through a regulated trading platform without having to buy cryptocurrencies directly themselves. 21Shares AG CEO Hany Rashwan said in a press release:

Despite the milestone listing on Vienna’s stock exchange, the offering is not 21 Shares’ first crypto or bitcoin ETP. In early July, its Bitcoin ETP was listed on Deutsche Borse’s Xertra trading platform. In 2018, the company launched its first cryptocurrency ETP basket index product HODL, which as of September consisted of 48.6% Bitcoin, 30.89% Ethereum, 12.54% Ripple, 3.01% Bitcoin Cash and 2.95% % of Litecoin.

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The incident shows that some fintech companies are offering mainstream investors increasingly regulated access to cryptocurrency investments. At the same time, it also marks the further acceptance of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors and regulators.

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Bringing new investors into the crypto space through ETPs, while good for cryptocurrency adoption, has also raised concerns that the practice could lead to the true value of cryptocurrencies being overlooked.

These two points were emphasized by Anita Posch, host of the Bitcoin & Co.

While Bosch praised Bitcoin's growth in Austria, she was also quick to point out the downsides of the growing number of people entering the crypto space through such investment products.

In a Twitter exchange with a research assistant at 21 Shares, she stated that she wants people to hold their own private keys when buying bitcoin, rather than through a third party. Most bitcoin experts and enthusiasts agree that holding a bitcoin private key is an important security and ownership measure.

Bosh also pointed out in an interview with Decrypt that the global exchange Coinbase will host ETP's underlying product, Bitcoin. She said:

Posh’s view is that the launch of an ETP could eventually lead to cryptocurrencies falling into the mismanagement of traditional finance, and Bitcoin has always been supposed to prevent this from happening.

Additionally, she said, the fact that ETPs pose another risk is that cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase could “grow so powerfully that it affects the direction of Bitcoin.”

Additionally, Posh noted that any exchange that is backed by an ETP but doesn’t regularly certify its supply of reserve funds could be at risk of insolvency due to rehypothecation. Rehypothecation is when a bank or broker uses funds provided to them by customers as collateral for their own investment purposes. This was a common practice in the US until the 2007 collapse of Lehman Brothers. The collapse of Lehman Brothers led to the 2008 financial crisis, which indirectly gave birth to Bitcoin.

While there may seem to be many benefits in creating a more compliant path to cryptocurrency for the inexperienced, at least in the short term, some apologists in the crypto space may take objections.

This article was translated with authorization from

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