The first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF, launched on the European market, has been defined 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 has classified its Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF as an “Article 8” fund. Hence, the fund, launched on the Amsterdam stock exchange on Aug 15, becomes not only the first Bitcoin ETF, traded in Europe but also the first one to apply for the European Union’s environmental, social and governance investing rules.
The report cites Martin Bednall, the CEO of Jacobi, who is calling the ETF “fully decarbonized” for its partial investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs). However, academic experts, questioned by journalists, pose the obvious 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 BTC assets.
Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF went live on Aug 15, on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange more than a year later than its planned launch in 2022. The introduction was promoted as the primary spot, or physically-backed, Bitcoin 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.