Canadian Ether ETFs Opportunity if SEC approves Spot Ether in U.S.

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The cryptocurrency landscape in the U.S. is poised for a significant shift if the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlights spot Ethereum (Ether) ETFs. Following the SEC’s spot Bitcoin ETF approval in October 2023, this potential approval would welcome Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, into the investment mainstream. However, the outcome is still uncertain, adding to the intrigue of this development.

This article will highlight the backdrop for spot Ethereum ETFs achieving SEC approval in the U.S. and the current investment solutions through which Canadian investors can access this cryptocurrency.

The SEC deliberations on spot Ethereum ETFs 

As reported by Reuters, there is a growing belief that the SEC will deny the application of VanEck, ARK Investment Management, and several other ETF issuers from issuing ETFs that track the spot price of Ethereum.

While many have referenced the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs as a precedent for spot Ethereum ETF, it should be noted that Gary Gensler, Chairperson of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, rejected spot Bitcoin ETFs for more than a decade over market manipulation worries but was forced to approve them after Grayscale Investments won a court challenge.

Though much uncertainty remains, the SEC must decide on VanEck’s and ARK’s filings, which are first in line, by May 23 and May 24, respectively. The results from their filings will undoubtedly communicate to ETF issuers the collective decision of the SEC on spot Ethereum ETFs.

Spot Ethereum ETFs outside of the U.S.

Beyond the U.S., cryptocurrency ETF adoption is gaining traction, as Hong Kong is poised to launch trading for spot Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded funds. Three Chinese firms, China Asset Management, Bosera Asset Management, and Harvest Global Investments launched crypto ETFs through their Hong Kong subsidiaries on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in April 2024. The launch of these products reflects investors’ growing acceptance and demand for these asset types.

Spot Ethereum ETFs in Canada

Canada has been ahead of the field regarding the acceptance of cryptocurrencies, as Canadian investors have long been able to gain exposure to spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs within their portfolios. The Canadian investment landscape for these solutions is varied, allowing investors to have a measure of optionality in the crypto-ETFs solutions they can integrate into their portfolios.

Given the current focus on spot Ethereum ETFs, the current Canadian ETFs that provide said exposure are:

Evolve Ether ETF (Ticker: ETHR/ETHR.U)

ETHR’s investment objective is to expose investors to the daily price movements of the U.S. dollar price of Ether while experiencing minimal tracking error by utilising the benefits of the creation and redemption processes offered by the exchange-traded fund structure. ETHR offers investors exposure to Ether by investing directly in Ether, with ETHR’s holdings of Ether-priced based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (“ETHUSD_RR”), a once-a-day benchmark index price for Ether denominated in U.S. dollars and administered by benchmark administrator, CF Benchmarks Ltd.

CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (Ticker: ETHX.U/ ETHX.B)

ETHX’s investment objective is to provide unitholders with exposure to Ether through an institutional-quality fund platform. To achieve its investment objective, the fund invests directly in Ether and will utilize high-quality service providers in the digital assets sector (e.g., digital asset custodians, trading platforms and trading counterparties) in order to manage the assets of the Fund.

The Fund’s portfolio will be priced based on, and the Net Asset Value of the Fund will be calculated using, the Bloomberg Galaxy Ethereum Index (ETH Index).

Purpose Ether ETF (Ticker: ETHH/ ETHH.B/ ETHH.U)

ETHH seeks to buy and hold substantially all of its assets in the digital currency Ether and seeks to provide holders of ETF units with the opportunity for long-term capital appreciation. To achieve its investment objective, the fund invests in and holds substantially all of its assets in Ether in order to provide unitholders with a secure, convenient, lower-cost alternative to a direct investment in Ether.

The fund will not speculate with regard to short-term changes in Ether prices. The Fund will not use derivatives instruments, the underlying interest of which is Ether, for non-hedging purposes. In respect of the ETF Carbon Offset Units, the fund will purchase carbon offset credits in order to aim to neutralize the carbon footprint related to the Fund’s Ether allocable to this class.

Please note this article is for information purposes only and does not in any way constitute investment advice. It is essential that you seek advice from a registered financial professional prior to making any investment decision.