May 18, 2022
Crypto ETP-Provider 21Shares Marks US Debut With Two Launches
(Bloomberg) -- Crypto exchange-traded products issuer 21Shares, which has made waves in Europe with its offerings since 2018, is marking its US entrance with the launch of two new funds.
The Zug, Switzerland-based company is debuting two index funds, the 21Shares Crypto Basket 10 Index Fund, which tracks the largest coins, and the 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap Index Fund, which also measures the performance of the biggest tokens, but excludes Bitcoin and Ether. The funds will be rebalanced and reconstituted quarterly.
“We’ve been working on products in the US since we first started, so we couldn’t be more excited to finally bring them,” Hany Rashwan, chief executive officer and co-founder of 21Shares, said in an interview.
The company, which manages $2.1 billion, has Cathie Wood, the founder of Ark Investment Management, on its board. It also has backing from some Silicon Valley VCs, Rashwan said.
21Shares already has ETPs trading in Europe, where regulators have been more open toward crypto-centric funds. It also recently debuted a Bitcoin fund in Australia, though the launch coincided with the TerraUSD stablecoin implosion that rocked markets and which also led the company to suspend creations and redemptions on its Terra ETP.
It’s been a turbulent year for the crypto market, with prices on some of the largest tokens dropping as the Federal Reserve and other central banks tighten monetary policy to help cool inflation. Bitcoin, the biggest digital coin, has lost 50% since reaching a peak in November, and the overall market has shed more than $1.5 trillion in value during that stretch, according to data from CoinGecko.com.
Rashwan, who co-founded 21Shares with Ophelia Snyder in 2018, says the downturn isn’t too concerning. The company launched its first physically-backed crypto ETP during the 2018 crypto slump, and that fund now has assets of around $119 million.
Read more: A Rising Crypto Star Has the SEC and Volatile Markets In Her Way
“Bear markets are wonderful times to consolidate, to build and to innovate, and we see this as a long-term investment,” he said. “Nothing changes in the long term. There’s always going to be ups and downs. But we remain just as committed to both this asset class, as well as all the geographies we are in or are considering to be in.”
The company is looking to also launch exchange-traded funds in the States, he said. But, “in the meantime, until that happens, we’re very excited to bring some of our index and basket strategies to America through private funds that are geared toward the more qualified institutional investors.”
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