Ever since the bitcoin cryptocurrency first launched and achieved initial success, institutional investors and hedge fund managers have secretly sought a regulated investment vehicle for bitcoin placements. Malta-based Exante Ltd. has the solution with their new Bitcoin Fund.
“I hope our fund will be the first hedge fund to take advantage of using bitcoins,” explains Managing Partner Anatoliy Knyazev. Exante actually announced the fund in October last year, but they did not make a serious effort to market it. Now, with more institutional interest emerging, they agreed to provide this update to Forbes.
Although any person or entity can acquire and store bitcoins on their own, institutional investors are typically restricted in the types of assets available within their investment charter. Similar to a mutual fund or hedge fund for alternative assets, Exante’s Bitcoin Fund permits institutions and high-net worth individuals to access the vibrant bitcoin market with a licensed product and this alone is an innovative development.
The fund shares are distributed exclusively through the Exante Hedge Fund Marketplace platform. Authorized and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, Exante offers the Bitcoin Fund with an initial minimum subscription of $100,000 and a 0.5% upfront subscription fee.
However, U.S. persons and U.S. institutions will not be able to access the fund directly, because according to the Fund Disclaimer, “U.S. Persons may not subscribe either directly or indirectly for shares.”
Knyazev told Forbes that “the U.S. jurisdiction is tricky.” This is mostly due to the securities registration that the company is currently not prepared to complete and more recently the FATCA reporting implications for foreign financial institutions. “Typically, a feeder fund is established in the U.S. (commonly Delaware) to facilitate the investments. We are in the process of estimating our costs on creating one,” added Knyazev.