Gibraltar is launching a bid to become the world’s virtual currency hub with an exclusive exchange traded instrument for investing in Bitcoin.
BitcoinETI will trade on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) and colisted on the German Deutsche Bourse under the ticker BTCETI.
The move is the first officially traded and regulated Bitcoin investment wrapper in Europe.
“GSX is an EU regulated market which offers efficient and cost effective solutions for innovative companies and financial products. We look forward to supporting the BitcoinETI in its entry to the public markets” said GSX managing director Nick Cowan.
The company behind the BitcoinETI is iStructure PCC of Gibraltar, which has designed the product with help from other stakeholders, including the Gibraltar government and the Rock’s financial services regulator.
Virtual currency hub
One of those stakeholders is Revoltura, whose CEO Ransu Salovaara said: “By listing the ETI on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which is an EU regulated market, we are able to bring a high-level of transparency and liquidity to investors. BitcoinETI is available through regulated brokerage firms across Europe and settlements are handled just like any other securities.”
ETIs are securities that will open Bitcoin investments to fund managers, banks, and pension funds.
Introducing the BitcoinETI is the first step in developing Gibraltar into a virtual currency hub, explained Salovaara.
Revoltura plans to bring other digital currency and technology backed instruments to the GSX.
Bitcoin is a controversial virtual currency that is not regulated by any central bank or government.
Dark web suspicions
The currency only exists online tracked by technology called a blockchain which lists the owner of each unit.
Bitcoin is spent online to buy a variety of goods and services.
In the past, the lack of regulation and transparency over ownership has raised suspicions from governments and security services that Bitcoin is the currency of choice of terrorists, organised crime and drug dealers on the so-called dark web.
Bitcoin exchanges around the world have also suffered attacks from hackers who have stolen the currency from secure electronic wallets.
Bitcoin is currently trading at US$653, although in November 2013, the exchange rate reached a high of $979. Since then, the value hit as low as $232, although the price has recovered steadily since September 2015.