The Ontario Securities Commission has formally approved Canada’s first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund is expected to be launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange this week.
Investment management firm Harvest Portfolios had submitted its initial paperwork in January and announced last week that it had filed its final prospectus with Canadian securities regulators. According to a company press release, the Blockchain Technologies ETF (ticker symbol: HBLK) is “designed to provide Canadian investors access to the developing blockchain technology sector.”
Harvest Portfolios' ETF may be just the first of several ETFs to launch in the immediate future. According to The Globe and Mail, Evolve Funds Group Inc. and First Trust Portfolios Canada have also filed prospectuses for their own blockchain funds. First Trust's ETF head Karl Cheong said that the company’s clients are expressing consistent interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency:
"Every conversation we are having with clients – regardless if we are talking about a Canadian equities product or a U.S equity product – inevitability leads to [a discussion about] blockchain or bitcoin."
Evolve president and CEO Raj Lala focused on the technology’s potential for disruption in the marketplace, noting that "blockchain technology is poised to disrupt virtually every business and industry, including financial services, real estate, health care and government.” He also echoed the sentiments of many blockchain enthusiasts, as he said, “many compare blockchain to the second coming of the Internet.”