Bitwise Asset Management has just announced their intention to offer a publicly traded cryptocurrency index exchange-traded fund (ETF), which would be the first of its kind. To this end, they have applied to register the fund with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company, which previously created a private cryptocurrency index called the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund, will call this new fund the Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund. Like the private fund, it will track a weighted index — based on market capitalization — of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the world. The index, which will be rebalanced every month, will capture roughly 80% of the worldwide cryptocurrency market. ETFs are much like stocks, in that they are securities traded in exchanges. The difference between them and stocks is that they group multiple assets together. While the HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund will not be first cryptocurrency ETF, it will be the first that tracks multiple digital currencies. Previously cryptocurrency ETFs have only been denominated in bitcoin. In a recent interview with CNBC, Matt Hougan — who is the global head of research at Bitwise — said that he believes that the SEC will approve their ETF because of the current direction of the cryptocurrency market. Though it has been reported the SEC has just postponed its review of another cryptocurrency ETF. This ETF was filed by an investment company called Direxion. The Commission said that it need more time to determine whether or not it would approve a rule change that would allow the Direxion ETF to come into existence. Earlier this year, the SEC considered cryptocurrency ETFs from both VanEck and Raffety Assets Management. But it eventually asked both companies to withdraw their applications. This was because the Commission was concerned about the valuation and liquidity of the digital assets underlying both ETFs. Based in San Francisco, Bitwise Asset Management was founded in 2017 and is run by a team with expertise in both finance and software.
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