There are no signs a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) will drop in America any time soon. But if the U.S.A. ever embraces crypto ETFs, they’ll undoubtedly have to play catch up with Europe, where willingness to embrace these products is building up steam more quickly.
Such embraces have come into focus once more on the news that Swiss company Amun AG and U.S. investment firm Invesco are bringing new crypto and blockchain-centric exchange-traded products to market at Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange and the London Stock Exchange, respectively.
Amun first made waves in the cryptoverse last fall when it launched its so-called “HODL” crypto basket ETP, a type of ETF, on SIX. That basket, designed for monthly performance rebalances, started out tracking the prices of bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and XRP and has since gone on to enjoy considerable trade volume on the mainstream exchange.
Now, the London-based Amun has confirmed it’s set its eyes on the imminent release of an XRP ETP as SIX has already approved the listing.
“We can comfortably say that we expect to release the world’s first XRP ETP within the next two months,” Amun chief executive officer and co-founder Hany Rashwan told CoinDesk.
The London company previously saw its ether ETP launch on the Swiss exchange earlier this month and its bitcoin ETP launch on SIX a few days prior to that. Rashwan noted that SIX had also granted approval for Amun ETPs tracking the prices of bitcoin cash, EOS, litecoin, and stellar lumens and that they would likely be released by year’s end.
London Stock Exchange Gets a Blockchain ETF
And ETPs that directly track the prices of cryptocurrencies aren’t the only kind of exchange-traded products capitalizing on the blockchain space in Europe. That’s because American investment play Invesco launched its Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain ETF on the London Stock Exchange (LSEG) today, March 11th.
Invesco’s ETF doesn’t follow crypto prices but instead tracks the performance of nearly 50 companies directly or indirectly related to the blockchain space. Some of the firms eyed by the fund include bitcoin futures backers CME Group, miner manufacturing powerhouse Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, and chip and tech maestros IBM.
The blockchain ETF comes as a partnership between Invesco and investment specialists Elwood Asset Management. The latter firm sourced the scoring methodology used for the selection of the companies in the fund.
Upon the product’s launch on LESG, Elwood CEO Bin Ren argued that blockchain tech is starting to come into its own like the early internet once did:
“We are beginning to see the technology being used by financial services companies in particular, but we expect greater application of blockchain technology across a wide range of industries. We believe the potential for blockchain to change the global economy is greatly underappreciated in today’s market, much like the internet was in the beginning, when most people couldn’t see past its usefulness for email.”
Looking Ahead in America
To date, a crypto-based ETF has yet to materialize in the U.S. over regulators’ concerns that the fledgling cryptoeconomy is still too prone to market manipulation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it’s not interested in letting such manipulation bleed into mainstream American markets.
But that conservative approach hasn’t stopped enterprises from attempting to be the first to gain SEC approval for a crypto ETF in America.
In January 2019, Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) once again joined forces with financial services play SolidX and investment managers VanEck to resubmit their bitcoin ETF trust proposal to the SEC. The Commission will consider the proposal over the coming months.
And January also saw the the filing of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF proposal with the SEC. Per its specs, the fund would track the price of bitcoin and “meaningful hard forks” of the OG cryptocurrency. It remains to be seen if either of these ETFs will be approved this year, however.