Two Blockchain ETFs Launch Today, But They're Going Incognito

(Bloomberg) -- Two blockchain ETFs start trading today, but good luck finding them at your local exchange.

Shortly before listing, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission encouraged Amplify Investments and Reality Shares Inc., the firms behind them, to drop “blockchain” from their names.

That’s why the first exchange-traded funds to track companies involved in the digital technology that underpins cryptocurrency transactions are launching under new monikers: the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, ticker BLOK, and the Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF, symbol BLCN.

The regulator may have been keen to avoid a repeat of recent incidents, like when beverage company Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. and saw its stock price almost triple in a day.

The new funds are blockchain ETFs in all but name.

They hold companies involved in the technology including Germany’s SAP SE and Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. While Amplify’s fund is actively managed, the Reality Shares fund tracks an index of companies “that are committing material resources to developing, researching, supporting, innovating or utilizing blockchain technology,” according to a regulatory filing. 

The Amplify fund charges 70 basis points a year, while the Reality Shares ETF costs 68 basis points.

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