By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Nikhil Subba
NEW YORK (Reuters) - SolidX Partners Inc, a U.S. technology company that provides blockchain services, on Tuesday filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch an exchange-traded product that tracks the price of bitcoin.
Blockchain is the technology that powers bitcoin, the digital currency. SolidX provides blockchain-based software relating to the recording of digital records, transfer of assets, and identity, according to its website.
The ETF product will be called SolidX Bitcoin Trust and will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol XBTC upon regulatory approval, SolidX Partners said on Tuesday.
SolidX is the second company to file for a bitcoin exchange-traded product with the U.S. regulator. The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, owned by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, filed the first bitcoin ETF application three years ago.
In its SEC filing, SolidX said it will provide investors with exposure to the daily change of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. The value of bitcoin will be based on the price tracked by XBX, an index created by TradeBlock, a financial services company.
Bitcoin is a digital asset launched in 2009 that can be transferred among parties through the internet without the use of a central administrator or clearing agency. Its blockchain has gained global popularity due to its perceived usefulness in recording and keeping track of assets across practically all industries.
The exact size of the offering was not disclosed, but based on the filing, the company said the ETF will issue a basket of 10,000 shares.
Bank of New York Mellon has been tapped as the custodian of the cash held by SolidX Bitcoin Trust, while SolidX Partners will be responsible for the ETF's bitcoin holdings.
SolidX, in its ETF filing, said the bitcoin it will hold will be insured. The insurance will cover the loss of bitcoin through theft, destruction, or computer fraud.
Bitcoin's value has been highly volatile, having peaked at over $1,200 in late 2013 before crashing after the collapse of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange.
It has since recovered, hitting a more than two-year high of nearly $780 in the run-up to the British referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union. On Tuesday, bitcoin traded at $662.44 on the Bitstamp platform.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Chris Reese)