New Fund Will Allow Investors to Bet on Bitcoins

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Marketplace SecondMarket is raising money for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first investment fund in the United States to hold the virtual currency.

“We want to make it an accessible asset class,” SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert told the New York Times, explaining his attempt to take bitcoin mainstream. The virtual currency has been much talked-about but remains an elusive concept for many.

This latest move will directly compete with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ similar endeavor, an exchange-traded fund exclusively fueled by bitcoins.

But the twins made famous by their Facebook lawsuit will have to undergo a substantial review process with federal regulators. The New York Times notes that SecondMarket will not and can immediately raise money “because it will be available only to investors who meet a wealth threshold set by the Securities and Exchange Commission” (a $1 million net worth or $200,000 annual income for at least two years).

About $1.5 billion in value is currently held in bitcoin around the world.