World first Ethereum ETF debuts in Canada … with a trading halt

The world’s first Ethereum-based fund to be listed on a major stock exchange opened for trading on Thursday, but not without some hiccups. Listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, The Ether Fund (TSX:QETH.U) opened for trading at $10.80 per share after completing a successful IPO in which $76.5 million was raised.

To the concern of interested traders, the fund was not available for trading upon the opening bell, officially halted because of a delay in closing the fund’s IPO prospectus. Trading actually commenced two hours late, with 345,331 shares being traded across the rest of the day. The fund reached an intra-day high of $11.48 before closing at $11.02. This represents a gain of 2.5% on a trading day in which the price of ETH was down by around 0.5%, creating a premium on the price of QETH.U shares.

The fund was launched by Canada’s biggest digital asset investment manager 3iQ, as a way for traders and investors to gain exposure to the Ethereum market without having to purchase, store or sell ETH themselves. At an average price of $565 per ETH, each share of QETH.U represented roughly 0.0187 ETH at the beginning of the trading day. The coins backing the fund’s shares are being held by Gemini Custody, the custodial arm of crypto exchange giant Gemini.

The Ether Fund joins 3iQ’s other crypto-backed security, The Bitcoin Fund (TSX:QBTC), which was added to the exchange in late October. 3iQ was ranked the third biggest public digital asset fund in the world in a research report released earlier this month. The company stressed the importance of offering crypto-backed securities on a major stock exchange in a press release accompanying the opening of QETH.U trading:

“Gaining access to digital assets […] can be daunting, costly, and inconvenient. 3iQ offers investors convenient and familiar investment products to gain exposure to digital assets.”

In Dec. 2017, the first American ETH-backed fund opened for trading, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, which is listed on the OTC Pink market. The fund saw a increase of inflows through the 3rd quarter this year, signifying the arrival of a new group of “Ethereum first” investors, according to Grayscale’s managing director.

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