Bitcoin-backed investment fund approved in Jersey

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The tiny Channel Island made big noise in the bitcoin world today, as the nation’s Financial Services Commission gave final approval to the Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI). The fund, created by the commodity-focused Global Advisors hedge fund company, appears to be the first of its kind in Europe. The fund will allow institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to invest in bitcoin.

Although a protectorate of the U.K., Jersey is a politically independent island well known in Europe for its investment-friendly tax laws. While similar funds already exist in the U.S., such as the Bitcoin Investment Trust, these are limited to specific classes of investors. Due to Jersey’s less stringent rules, most investment funds will be able to participate in the GABI offering. The offering is not open to individual investors.

According to a BBC report, the GABI fund gained approval after demonstrating full compliance with E.U. and Jersey standards for anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules. Fears that the semi-anonymous nature of bitcoin could allow for the subversion of international law or the funding of terrorism has been a major issue for regulators.

GABI spokesman Daniel Masters told the BBC: “There will be no dictators or criminals sending us money.” The fund will open to investors on August 1.

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