Canadian ETFs Lead the Way - Again

The world’s first bitcoin ETF is only the latest in our pioneering acceptance of ‘alternative’ assets

Andrew Willis 2 March, 2021 | 4:28AM
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As far as exchange-traded funds go, Canada has always led the way. After all, back in 1990, we launched the world’s first-ever ETF. And the latest cutting-edge ETF innovation? Bitcoin!

In February, Purpose Investment launched the world’s first-ever Bitcoin ETF, and being the first has certainly paid off. In less than a week, the ETF which began trading on February 18th on the TSX [BTCC.B/BTCC.U] managed to rack up more than half a billion in assets under management. Evolve Investments also followed only days later with their Bitcoin ETF [EBIT].

These ETFs are just the latest in a string of such ‘alternative’ investments that Canadians have championed to success. Remember the cannabis ETF from Horizons ETFs [HMMJ]? It was launched back in 2017 and was the first exchange-traded fund to focus on the cannabis industry – before many other products followed and the sector grew to the size it is today. Recently, Horizons also launched the first ETF focused on the psychedelics industry [PSYK].

It’s worth watching developments like these in our marketplace which allows smaller players like Purpose, Evolve and Horizons to put out innovative products while accepting the risks associated with thinking outside of the box…because sometimes those bets pay off – for the fund houses, at least!

For Morningstar, I’m Andrew Willis.

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About Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  is Senior Editor at Morningstar Canada. He previously produced content for Fidelity Investments and finance industry events for Euromoney Institutional Investor and has written in the past for Thomson Reuters and CNN. Follow him on Twitter @Andrew_M_Willis.

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