Cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity over the last year, largely due to the stunning rally in the price of Bitcoin. This has drawn many investors and other interested parties towards Bitcoin, with the result that we now have institutional investors who are putting their money into Bitcoin as well, something which was not the case during the previous similar rally in 2017. Of course, that was followed by a huge crash, which is why there are still several people who remain wary, but on the whole, cryptocurrencies have had a significant boost in interest due to this. We are also seeing a difference in terms of how cryptocurrencies are being perceived now – not just as investment options, or a way to make money quickly, but as a potential solution for problems in finance, along with the underlying blockchain technologies being utilised for other applications as well. All of this means that this rally, or rather this price level, is perhaps a lot more stable than previously, and even though claims that Bitcoin is headed towards $100,000 may take a few years to come true, there can be no doubt that the level of interest and investment in the token this time around does make it possible for those prices to be hit.
Of course, this is just another example to show how Bitcoin is being accepted by the wider world. We are also seeing various other areas where cryptocurrencies have begun to be accepted and used, and this is largely taking place online. One of the leading sectors in this regard is the world of online gambling and casinos. There are several websites where users can place bets through cryptocurrencies, and withdraw their winnings in the same manner as well. These are available globally, so there is a BTC online casino for Canadian players, for example, and have been extremely popular, showing how cryptocurrencies can change existing business models rapidly if used well.
The world of mainstream finance has also begun to accept Bitcoin, as can be seen by the fact that a prospectus for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been filed in Canada, with the Ontario Securities Commission. This application has been filed by Arxnovum Investments, and if approved, it will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker ‘BIT.U’. The CEO of Arxnovum, Shaun Cumby, is the manager behind this application, and he has previous experience in this domain, having been CIO at 3iq Corp, which is a Canadian digital asset management firm, and it launched a bitcoin fund (ticker: QBTC.U) during his time there, becoming the world’s first regulated bitcoin fund. According to the prospectus, the proposed ETF will provide investors with Bitcoin exposure, and therefore the daily dollar price movement of Bitcoin, by investing in Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures contracts, or other derivative instruments which can provide this exposure to Bitcoin. It can also hold cash, cash equivalents and fixed-income securities, and it can also trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other futures exchanges regulated by the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.The Gemini Trust Company, owned by the Winklevoss twins, is the sub-custodian of the bitcoin held by this ETF, which means that it will be qualified to be the custodian of all of the fund’s assets held outside of Canada. Gemini had also provided these services for the Bitcoin fund previously mentioned, and is another example of how the Winklevoss twins have been at the vanguard of trying to bring bitcoin into mainstream financial markets in the US. Back in 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission had rejected their application for a Bitcoin ETF, and it has done so for every Bitcoin ETF application. Thus the creation of one in neighbouring Canada would be a big step, and could lead to acceptance in the US as well.