In brief

  • Crypto asset manager Bitwise today announced the launch of a new ETF.
  • The ETF will track the value of 30 companies that are involved in crypto—such as Coinbase.
  • But the ETF is still not the crypto ETF that many companies are hoping to get approved.

Asset manager Bitwise today announced the launch of a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will give investors exposure to companies heavily involved in cryptocurrency

The ETF, Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker BITQ. The idea is that those who want to put money in the crypto world but are perhaps put off by the complex technological side of things can do so by buying shares.

ETFs are a big deal for investors. They track or follow the price of an underlying asset and allow people to buy shares of it, without having to own any of the asset themselves. ETFs can track anything from gold and foreign currencies to, most recently, Ethereum

In this case, Bitwise’s new ETF will track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators 30 Index, a list of public companies that have significant exposure to crypto. The companies include cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, business intelligence firm Microstrategy and Bitfarms, a Bitcoin mining firm—all of which own lots of Bitcoin and other digital assets. 

Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan said: “Until recently, most great crypto innovators were private companies, but that’s changing rapidly. Today, there’s a growing set of public companies capitalizing on crypto, and more to come. BITQ aims to identify these businesses and give investors access.”

The company’s CEO, Hunter Horsley, added that the ETF’s goal was to make investing in crypto available via “traditional investing platforms.”

But Bitwise’s NYSE listing still isn’t a crypto ETF in the truest sense—something that cryptocurrency investors in the US have anticipated for years, and which investors in other parts of the world have shown a strong hunger for.

There are currently nine companies hoping to get a Bitcoin ETF approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The SEC is currently in the process of reviewing three of them. Previously, however, the governmental body has rejected every attempt at crypto ETF while citing the need to protect investors from a Bitcoin market that can still be easily manipulated.

But in Canada, regulators have not only approved crypto ETFs, they have been extremely popular: there are eight Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in the country and all have sold eye-watering amounts of shares. When Purpose, the first Canadian Bitcoin ETF launched, it sold $80 million in just one hour.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.