In brief

  • Crypto management firm Bitwise today announced that its 10 Crypto Index Fund is live—making it the first publicly traded crypto index fund in the US.
  • The Fund tracks the 10 largest cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitwise still has had no luck in getting a Bitcoin ETF approved in the US.

Crypto management firm Bitwise Asset Management today announced that shares of its 10 Crypto Index Fund are live. 

Known as The Fund, the crypto index tracks the 10 largest cryptocurrencies and allows investors—both retail and accredited—to buy shares that represent them. It is billed as the first publicly traded crypto index fund in the US; its ticker symbol on the over-the-counter stocks marketplace OTCQX is “BITW.” 

The Fund today debuted with $120 million in assets under management. Most of the assets are Bitcoin—around 75%—with 13% in Ether and the remaining 12% split between XRP, Litecoin, Chainlink, Tezos, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and EOS, according to Bitwise. 

Matt Hougan, Bitwise's Chief Investment Officer, said that cryptocurrency has been the “best-performing asset class in the world this year.” 

And he’s right: Bitcoin in comparison to a number of investments—gold, real estate and stocks—delivers a higher rate of return over a four-year period, according to research from analytics firm Messari. 

Hougan added: “The start of public trading for shares of BITW will make it significantly easier for financial advisers, family offices, individuals, and institutional funds to allocate to the space. We believe the Fund offers a robust, one-stop solution."

The Fund is governed by a committee and an advisory board of experts will guide it. The idea is that investors can put their money in crypto without having to deal with buying and storing the digital assets. 

Despite launching the first crypto index fund for US investors, Bitwise has struggled to get a Bitcoin ETF approved—getting rejected by the SEC a number of times. 

A Bitcoin ETF tracks or follows the price of Bitcoin so people who want to speculate on the price of BTC can do so without actually having to own the asset themselves. ETFs are different from index funds as they can be traded constantly throughout the day—like stocks—while index funds can only be bought and sold for a price set daily.