Jacobi spot Bitcoin ETF classed as ‘environmental investing’ by issuer

The first-ever spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched on the European market has been classed as an Article 8 fund by its issuer firm, London-based Jacobi Asset Management.

Funds included under Article 8 of the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SDFR) are those that “promote environmental and/or social characteristics.”

On Aug. 29, Bloomberg reported that Jacobi Asset Management had classified its Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF as an Article 8 fund. The fund, launched on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange on Aug. 15, becomes the first Bitcoin ETF traded in Europe, and the first to have the European Union’s environmental, social and governance investing rules applied.

The report cites Martin Bednall, Jacobi’s CEO, who calls the ETF “fully decarbonized” for its partial investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs). However, academic experts questioned by journalists posed a contradiction: With Bitcoin’s mining energy intensity, the ETF should purchase such a high amount of RECs that it would not only match but exceed the volume of energy consumed by its Bitcoin assets.

Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF went livemore than a year later than its planned launch in 2022. The introduction was promoted as the primary spot, or physically-backed, Bitcoin (BTC) fund, providing investors with an opportunity to access a financial product supported by actual BTC.

From the outset, Jacobi Asset Management emphasized the eco-friendly nature of the ETF. The fund uses outside information to calculate how much energy the Bitcoin network uses. It then purchases and “retires” RECs. These certificates are tracked on a blockchain service, which is designed to let investors confirm the fund’s environmentally friendly statements.

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