London Stock Exchange to Launch Cryptocurrency ETNs in May 2024

London Stock Exchange to Launch Cryptocurrency ETNs in May 2024
Photo by Luke Stackpoole / Unsplash

In a groundbreaking move set to redefine the landscape of digital asset trading in the UK, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has officially announced the launch date for its cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs). Beginning on May 28, 2024, the LSE will offer trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum ETNs, marking a significant milestone for professional investors in the UK.

This innovative financial product will be exclusively available to professional investors, underscoring the LSE's commitment to providing advanced investment opportunities in the burgeoning field of digital assets. Issuers of these ETNs are required to prepare and submit all necessary documentation by April 15, 2024, as per the exchange's statement.

The LSE has laid out a comprehensive set of requirements for issuers, including the development of a detailed plan and securing approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This move ensures that only well-prepared and compliant ETNs will be traded on the platform. According to the LSE, selecting the May 28 launch date was a strategic decision to give issuers ample time to meet the detailed requirements outlined in the informational bulletin.

ETNs are unsecured debt securities that track an underlying index of assets and are traded on the stock market. Thus, cryptocurrency ETNs will enable investors to trade securities that mirror the performance of crypto assets on the exchange. This development comes on the heels of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs in January 2024, a product available to both institutional and retail investors. However, UK traders have yet to gain access to Bitcoin ETFs in the US.

The launch has garnered support from industry leaders, including the Managing Director of Kraken UK, Bivu Das, who advocated for the introduction of Bitcoin-based ETFs in the UK. Similarly, Coinbase UK's CEO, Daniel Zeifert, hailed the upcoming launch of the exchange notes as a significant advancement for the crypto industry.

In early March, the LSE announced its intention to begin accepting applications for cryptocurrency ETNs in the second quarter of 2024, without specifying an exact launch date. This announcement clarifies the timeline and solidifies the LSE's position as a pioneer in integrating cryptocurrency products into traditional financial markets, offering professional investors novel avenues for engaging with digital assets.