The first spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to launch on the European market is classified as a Section 8 fund by its issuer, London-based Jacobi Asset Management. Funds under Article 8 of the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SDFR) are funds that “promote an environmental and/or social profile”.

August 29, Bloomberg report Jacobi Asset Management has classified its Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF as a Section 8 fund. Launched on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on Aug. 15, the fund became the first bitcoin ETF to trade in Europe and the first to apply for EU environmental, social and governance investment rules.

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The report cites Jacobi CEO Martin Bednall as saying the ETF is “fully decarbonized” thanks to its partial investment in renewable energy certificates (RECs). However, academic experts raised an apparent contradiction when questioned by reporters – given the energy intensity of Bitcoin mining, the ETF should buy such a large amount of REC that it would not only match but exceed the amount of energy consumed by its BTC assets.

The Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF listed on Euronext Amsterdam on Aug. 15, more than a year after its planned launch in 2022. The launch, billed as a primarily spot or physical backed bitcoin fund, offers investors access to financial products backed by actual BTC.

From the beginning, Jacobi Asset Management has emphasized the environmentally friendly nature of the ETF. The fund uses external information to calculate how much energy the bitcoin network uses. It then buys and “retires” the REC. These certificates are tracked through a blockchain service and are designed to allow investors to confirm the fund’s environmental claims.

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