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Central Bank of Ireland approves first crypto fund for qualified investors

Dublin bridgeThe Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has taken a cautious first step towards approving crypto funds.

According to Irish Funds, the CBI has approved in principle a Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund (QIAIF) with a low level of exposure to cash settled bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

It is the first time that the regulator has approved any kind of fund with indirect exposure to a cryptocurrency.

The news was welcomed by industry association Irish Funds whose chief executive Pat Lardner referred to it as “a welcome first for the industry”.

Lardner added that Irish Funds “will continue to monitor developments and contribute actively to the policy discussions and innovations in this area”.

Meanwhile the CBI will keep its approach to crypto assets approval under review and will continue to be informed by discussions among Europe’s regulators.

The EU’s main funds jurisdictions have taken a cautious approach to crypto funds thus far, limiting their approval to alternative funds available only to qualified investors.

The time when fund investing directly in bitcoin will be available to a retail investor would appear to still be some way off.

Only last month, the CBI issued a warning of the risks of investing in unregulated crypto assets, as part of an EU-wide campaign led by the European Supervisory Authorities.

The CBI also published a “plain English explainer” for consumers on cryptocurrencies.

©2022 fundsTech

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