ARK Invest Becomes First Public Fund Manager to Invest in Bitcoin

Sep 15 2015 | 11:12am ET

Active thematic ETF manager ARK Investment Management LLC has become the first manager of a public exchange traded fund to invest in bitcoin. 

The firm’s ARK Web x.0 ETF (ARKW) made its investment through the purchase of publicly traded shares of Grayscale's Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), according to a press release.

ARK believes that bitcoin could disrupt the $500 billion intermediary payment platform industry that includes credit cards, electronic payments and remittances, and might empower the creation of a new group of companies and industries, noted the statement. 

"We're believers in bitcoin, the currency, and Bitcoin, the technology platform. We also believe that current prices present an attractive entry point for our investors," said ARK's founder and CIO Cathie Wood. "Bitcoin is a disruptive innovation and while still in its infancy, interest has been growing rapidly in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Washington, D.C."

The ARK Web x.0 ETF invests in disruptive companies transforming entire sectors of the economy through internet-enabled mobile and local technological breakthroughs that are revolutionizing consumer and business behavior. 

The fund, which is up 6.72% so far this year, will value its investment in GBTC daily at 4 PM Eastern Time using the prevailing market price at that time.

"We're excited to receive an investment into the Bitcoin Investment Trust from an innovative firm like ARK," said Grayscale Founder Barry Silbert. "ARK is a pioneer in the investment community and is in good company – recent news has highlighted Goldman Sachs, UBS and Citi for their initiatives in the digital currency space."

Founded by Wood, New York-based ARK is a registered investment advisor and privately held investment firm that specializes in thematic investing through four actively managed ETFs. 

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