First Trust Global Portfolios launches blockchain ETF

First Trust Global Portfolios has launches a Ucits version of its new blockchain ETF offering – that it believes is a first for the European investment marketplace.

First Trust Global Portfolios, which is the UK based affiliate of First Trust Advisors L.P. and First Trust Portfolios L.P. has launched the First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction and Process Ucits ETFs (BLOK) – an index-based ETF that provides exposure to companies that are actively involved in blockchain technology.

The ETF has officially rolled out on the London Stock Exchange, pictured below left, yesterday. It has a management fee and TER of 65bps.

Tracking the Indxx Blockchain Index, the ETF aims to provide “an efficient way to gain exposure to a spread of companies that are actively investing resources into products or services that enable and use blockchain technology”, First Trust said in a statement.

At the launch event attended by International Investment, the company was keen to point out that while public interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are helping drive profits in blockchain related businesses – the ETF was not an investment directly into the increasingly volatile cryptocurrency market.

Focusing exclusively on active enablers and active users of blockchain, the index will only consider companies with a minimum market cap of $250m and a three month average daily turnover value of $1m.  Capped at 100 constituents, the index is rebalanced and reconstituted semi-annually.

‘Significant growth’
Derek Fulton CEO at First Trust Global Portfolios said: “We are pleased to bring to market this innovative Ucits ETF – BLOK. With an increasing number of institutions harnessing blockchain technology and applications spanning a wide range of industries, we believe the efficiency, auditability and transparency provided by blockchain offers the potential for significant growth opportunities.

“The First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction and Process Ucits ETF offers exposure to this growing investment class leveraging the liquidity and efficiency that a Ucits ETF structure provides”

‘Technological innovation’
Founded in 2005, Indxx seeks to redefine the global indexing space. With offices in New York, Prague and New Delhi the firm focuses on Index Development and Index Calculation, combining these services in a holistic, customised approach.

Rahul Sen Sharma, Partner at Indxx, said: We believe that blockchain is an exciting new technological innovation and our index research and development team is proud to have built an index that effectively targets it via a disciplined and transparent approach.”

First Trust Global Portfolios recently exceeded $700m under management as at 31 March 2018 and now offers 12 Ucits ETFs. Parent company First Trust has total assets under management or supervision in excess of $119bn as at 31 December 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

Read more from Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

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