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First ETF combining bitcoin and ethereum launches in Canada

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Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken, June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Bitcoin and ethereum make up around 65 per cent of the cryptocurrency market (REUTERS)

Investors who want to buy a cryptocurrency ETF don't have to choose between bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH) and its tokens called ether, because a new fund that holds both started trading today.

The new ETF from Evolve ETFs trades under the ticker ETC on the TSX and is Canada's first multicurrency ETF.

It will hold the world's two largest cryptocurrencies weighted by their market capitalization, which is around 67 per cent bitcoin and 33 per cent ethereum. For now, Evolve will do this by holding its bitcoin ETF (EBIT) and Ether ETF (ETHR) and rebalanced monthly.

Bitcoin and ethereum make up around 65 per cent of the cryptocurrency market.

"Bitcoin has established itself as a store of value and is often referred to as digital gold," said Raj Lala, president and CEO, Evolve ETFs in a release.

"Ether is often referred to as digital oil and has become an essential building block for digital finance including NFTs and other DeFi applications."

Combining the two can also help provide diversification. Though they often move in similar directions, performance has varied between bitcoin and ether. Evolve says in 2020, ether outperformed bitcoin by over 150 per cent. But ether was negative in 2019 while bitcoin was up 90 per cent.

ETC is TFSA and RRSP-eligible and has no fee but the underlying funds charge 0.75 per cent annually plus applicable taxes. Price movements will be based on the U.S. dollar prices of bitcoin and ether. Evolve says it doesn't plan for ETC to pay regular distributions.

Canada has been ahead of the game compared to the U.S. when it comes to cryptocurrency ETFs. Bitcoin ETFs from Purpose Investments (BTCC.B. and BTCC.U) and Evolve ETFs were the first out of the gate in February.

The SEC in the U.S. still hasn't given any cryptocurrency ETF the greenlight.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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