While the SEC continues to crack down, in an attempt to ‘protect’ investors from digital assets, Canadians now have more options for exposure than ever. Announced by First Block Capital on September 10th, 2018, accredited investors can now hold Bitcoin investments in their RRSPs and TFSAs. In addition to this, the fund can now be purchased on NEO Connect.
This is a platform for managing retail assets. Offered by Aequitas, this platform will begin hosting the FBC Bitcoin Trust (FBCBT) as of today.
The goal of NEO is simple – Make buying/selling Mutual Funds as simple as buying/selling ETFs.
By hosting the First Block fund, investors will now benefit from same-day settlements. This is a huge benefit compared to the previous 30 day process. Speaking with Globe and Mail, First Block CEO, Sean Clark, stated, “The longer redemption time frame was a feature that we felt really hurt the fund and the reason why we didn’t reach hundreds of millions [in assets] coming out of the gate,” Mr. Clark said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “Investors wanted more liquidity in this sector and we are pleased to now be able to offer advisers daily trading capabilities for those discretionary accounts.”
RRSP & TFSA
In addition to becoming available on NEO Connect, the FBCBT has attained Mutual Fund status. This means that investors holding units of the fund may store them in both RRSPs and TFSAs. This change is effective
Speaking on the announcement was First block CIO, Marc Van Der Chijs. He stated, “With this accomplishment, we continue to push Canada forward as a world leader in regulated blockchain and cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Our goal is to make investments in the digital currency asset class more accessible and we are one step closer to achieving this goal by allowing unit holders to place units in government sponsored tax efficient vehicles, and by providing daily liquidity through NEO Connect, a fund distribution platform with a rapidly growing dealer network.”
FBC Bitcoin Trust
The Bitcoin Trust, offered by First Block is a fund that offers exposure to digital assets. Available to accredited investors only, this fund does not require that investors actually hold any digital assets. By functioning in such a manner, First Block removes much of the complexity associated with the blockchain industry. This in turn offers more enticing fund to those looking for exposure, without committing fully to the industry.
To date, the FBCBT manages over $20 million worth of investments.
A Perfect Match
Operating in Canada, First Block is an investment firm dedicated to everything blockchain. This year has seen First Block introduce Canada’s first blockchain ETF for the crypto-averse, and their Bitcoin Trust. Despite achieving multiple firsts in Canada, First Block has no intentions of slowing down. It is through partnerships such as the one between themselves and NEO Connect that will facilitate this continued growth.
Neo Connect CEO Joe Schmitt has stated, “Investors of all types are asking for more diversification and access to less correlated investments, assets typically only accessible to large institutional investors…with NEO Connect, we are democratizing that access with a goal to give everyone the ability to build a well-balanced investment portfolio.”