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New York-based Neuberger Berman with $402 billion in assets under management, is the latest private investment firm to expand fund strategy to bitcoin and ethereum, a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveals.

The SEC filing says the firm’s Commodity Strategy Fund would allow its clients to access indirect exposure to bitcoin and ethereum futures for the very first time. Besides crypto derivatives, the commodity-focused mutual fund will also be able to invest in bitcoin trusts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

“Effective immediately, Neuberger Berman Commodity Strategy Fund’s (the “Fund”) investment strategy will permit actively managed exposure to cryptocurrency investments and digital assets through (i) cryptocurrency derivatives, such as bitcoin futures and ether futures, and (ii) investments in bitcoin trusts and exchange-traded funds to gain indirect exposure to bitcoin,” the filing reads.

Earlier this year, Neuberger Berman published a blog entitled “The Bitcoin Experiment”, which stated that bitcoin was a “phenomenon worth watching closely” but the cryptocurrency should ultimately not be deemed part of a standard asset allocation.

“Instead, we’d rather view it as an option that pays off when expectations for an uncertain, inflationary future increase, and make the finite, non-human controlled supply dynamics of cryptocurrencies valuable,” the post summarized.

Bitcoin Institutional Demand On The Rise

The cryptovirus continues to spread and deep-pocketed investors are rapidly contracting the bitcoin bug.

The crypto derivatives market, especially the BTC futures market, has drawn the attention of institutional behemoths in recent months. Wall Street investment firms are now clamoring to devise ways for customers to grab a piece of the once-obscure asset class.

Over a dozen companies have filed applications to launch ETFs based on the world’s largest cryptocurrency, but so far U.S. regulators have not approved any over concerns of price manipulation in the crypto market.

SEC chair Gary Gensler, however, raised hopes recently when he suggested that he would be inclined to greenlighting derivative exchange-traded funds rather than funds that wish to provide direct exposure by holding physical bitcoin.

A week after Gensler’s comments, VanEck, Invesco, and two other investment firms filed for bitcoin strategy ETFs with indirect exposure to bitcoin futures and other regulated investment vehicles.

BTCUSD Chart by TradingView

Bitcoin is experiencing one of its longest winning streaks this year. The latest announcement comes as the crypto climbs back above the $46K mark. As of press time, BTC stands at $46,462.88.


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