WisdomTree Expands Crypto Offerings in Europe, Launching Cardano, Polkadot & Solana ETPs

WisdomTree Investments, Inc., a New York-based exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded product provider and asset manager, announced on Tuesday that it has launched three new crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Polkadot (DOT) in Europe.

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The three new physically-backed cryptos ETPs include WisdomTree Solana (SOLW), WisdomTree Cardano (ADAW), and WisdomTree Polkadot (DOTW). WisdomTree said that it designed the ETPs to provide investors in Europe with another option to enable them to gain exposure to the price of Polkadot, Solana, and Cardano via regulated exchanges.

The firm disclosed that it has listed the three ETPs on major European digital exchanges, including Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra, the Swiss SIX exchange, and the Swiss Stock Exchange. WisdomTree further stated that it plans to list the crypto ETPs on the pan-European exchange Euronext to be available in Amsterdam and Paris at the end of the month.

DOTW, ADAW, and SOLW have a total expense ratio of 0.95% and are available for sale in most of the European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, WisdomTree said.

Alexis Marinof, WisdomTree’s Head of Europe, talked about the development and stated that the new offering aims to meet the rising demand from institutional investors to diversify their crypto portfolio. “While Bitcoin and Ethereum grab the headlines, altcoins are now viable options for many institutional investors, providing more options to diversify their crypto holdings just like they would with any other asset class,” Marinof elaborated.

Supporting Investors on Their Journey into Digital Assets

Listing crypto ETPs on stock exchanges has continued to open up more access points for investors to conveniently trade cryptocurrencies. Since WisdomTree launched its digital assets platform in 2019, the company has witnessed a lot of development in the space. The continued product launch represents the growing acceptance of crypto, the evolving European regulatory landscape, and demonstrates that digital assets are here to stay.

In November last year, WisdomTree launched three crypto basket exchange-traded products in Europe. The firm listed the three crypto ETPs (the WisdomTree Crypto Market (BLOC), WisdomTree Crypto Altcoins (WALT), and WisdomTree Crypto Mega Cap Equal Weight (MEGA) on Swiss stock exchange SIX and Frankfurt-based Börse Xetra.

BLOC offers exposure to the most established crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. WALT is focused on altcoins such as Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Polkadot, and Solana. MEGA focuses solely on Bitcoin and Ether as the market’s two “mega-cap” assets.

The funds are passported for sale across 12 European Union countries plus Switzerland and Norway.

In June last year, WisdomTree listed its physically-backed Bitcoin and Ether ETPs on Euronext exchanges in Paris and Amsterdam. The move came after the firm listed such products on Germany’s Börse Xetra and SIX, the Swiss Stock Exchange.

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Digital ETP issuer 21Shares Cooperates with German Bank Comdirect to Provide Crypto ETPs to Savings Accounts

21Shares, a well-known cryptocurrency ETP issuer, announced a partnership with the German online financial services bank Comdirect to diversify the option of cryptocurrency ETPs to customer savings accounts.

According to the official report on July 13 by 21Shares, this plan will immediately take effect, and 21Shares has become the exclusive provider of encrypted ETPs reserved as an online broker savings plan (Spar plan).

Currently, 11 ETP products of 21Shares are available on the Comdirect platform with zero commission. The CEO of 21Shares, Hany Rashwan, welcomed the latest announcement and said that:

“We are very excited to offer German clients who wish to add Bitcoin and other crypto assets to their savings plan a compelling option to do so thanks to Comdirect.”

21Shares stated that this collaboration with Comdirect is “another milestone in democratisation crypto investments”. This is the first example where investors can gain cryptocurrency exposure in their savings accounts.

Comdirect Produkt Manager and Crypto saving plan Initiator, Rene Louis Delrieux added that:

“For an outstanding customer experience, investors are now able to use crypto ETPs by 21Shares which fits the needs of our demanding clients and ensures market participation. This additional service adds flexibility for immediate use. Together with our partner 21Shares, comdirect has succeeded in significantly bridging crypto investments to retirement plans, something that our clients have longed for a while.”

21Shares has been committed to integrating digital assets into the traditional financial sector. As reported by Blockchain News last Monday, 21Shares announced that the company has cooperated with GHCO, an issuer-centric liquidity provider committed to building transparent and accessible financial markets to list Its Bitcoin ETP (ABTC ) on the Aquis exchange.

And at the end of last month, Cathie Wood, a top wall street investor and founder and CEO of ARK Investment management firm, has cooperated with 21Shares, an issuer of European exchange-traded products, to apply for the Bitcoin ETF-Ark21Shares ETF.

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Germany: CoinShares Launches Three Physical-Backed Crypto ETFs

Leading European digital assets investment firm CoinShares has listed three of its physically-backed crypto exchange-traded funds (ETPs) on Germany’s major stock exchange Börse Xetra.

Three Crypto-Based ETPs Cross-Listed on Börse Xetra

The company announced the cross-listing in a press release on Monday (June 7, 2021). According to the announcement, three crypto physical-backed ETP products from Coinshares listed on Börse Xetra include Bitcoin, Physical Ethereum, and Litecoin.

The company also introducing physically-backed cryptocurrency ETP products into the German market will expose institutional investors to the new asset class. A statement from CoinShares CEO, Jean-Marie Mognetti, said:

“Bringing this platform on the German leading exchange Xetra, is offering European institutional investors an entry point into digital assets whilst benefiting from the credibility and track record of CoinShares International, a Nasdaq OMX listed company.”

CoinShares first listed its physically-backed Bitcoin ETP on the SIX Swiss Exchange back in January, while committing $200 million to the ETP. Later in February, the digital asset investment firm launched Ethereum-based ETP on the same Switzerland exchange. In April, CoinShares introduced Litecoin ETP, which will also list on SIX Swiss Exchange with a base fee of 1.5 percent per annum.

The Litecoin ETP became the third crypto-backed investment product in 2021 and brought the total number of such products launched by the company to seven. According to the Chief Revenue Officer of CoinShares, Frank Spiteri, the firm’s Physical platform since its launch in January has generated more than $380 million in assets under management (AUM), and has been passported from Sweden to eleven countries, including Spain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Astria, France among others.

The CoinShares executive also commented on the latest development, saying:

“This cross-listing is another important step for CoinShares Asset Management, providing investors across Europe with easier access to digital assets. We look forward to leveraging the Company’s technology and expertise as we build on the momentum and move into new markets, investment exposures and strategic partnerships over the course of the year.”

There has been a rise of ETPs in response to increased institutional interest in crypto assets. Apart from CoinShares, another investment firm Iconic Funds listed a physical-backed Bitcoin ETP on Börse Xetra exchange,

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CoinShares Launches Ethereum-based Exchange Traded Product (ETP)

Digital-asset investment firm CoinShares has launched an Ethereum based exchange-traded product (ETP). This will be the second ETP to be released by the firm following the launch of its Bitcoin ETP in January. 

Ethereum ETP Listed on Swiss SIX Exchange

According to a press release from CoinShares, the Ethereum ETP will be listed on the Swiss SIX exchange under the ticker “ETHE.” Also, ETHE will launch with $75 million worth of assets and offer investors regulated access to Ethereum. 

The investment firm also stated that each ETHE would be initially backed by 0.03 ETH while the product has a base fee of 1.25%. Townsend Lansing, head of product at CoinShares, believes that it is a significant plus. “Bringing innovative products like ETHE allows us to continue setting the industry standard for trust and transparency and provide institutions with easy access to industry-leading (sic) crypto investment vehicles,” he stated.

An ETP is a priced security that can be traded on national stock exchanges as part of day trading. ETPs track the price of assets such as commodities, currencies, stocks, or bonds. In ETHE’s case, the underlying asset is Ethereum.

The past 12 months have seen an increase in ETPs launched as institution interest continues to grow. This is acknowledged by Frank Spiteri, chief revenue officer at CoinShares. “In the early days of 2021, we have seen a continuation of last year’s demand in digital assets from institutions. We have also seen an increase in investor interest in Ethereum”. He said

Second Major ETP Launched In 2021

CoinShares is one of the biggest crypto investment firms with over $4 billion under its management. This will be the second major ETP launched by CoinShares following the Bitcoin-backed ETP launched on SIX Swiss Exchange in January.  

The Bitcoin ETP was launched with $200 million in assets under management and was well received by the financial sector. Institutional custodial firm Komainu will be holding the bitcoin and Ethereum underlying assets backing the ETPs.

CoinShares recently revealed that it plans to conduct an initial public offering on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market in Sweden. This development could position the firm to become the first significant crypto-asset to go public. 

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Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS Are Trading an ETP Tied to Polkadot’s Crypto

Traditional finance is going further down the crypto rabbit hole than you might think.

Goldman Sachs, ICAP, JPMorgan, and UBS have bought the first exchange-traded product (ETP) that offers exposure to Polkadot’s DOT cryptocurrency for clients, according to Bloomberg terminal data reviewed by CoinDesk.

These banks and brokerages purchased small amounts of shares in Switzerland-based 21Shares’ ETP, the data shows. The shares debuted Feb. 4 on the SIX Swiss Exchange at a price of $22-23 and have since climbed to $30.

The purchases suggest institutional investors’ appetite for crypto exposure in the current bull market goes beyond the market bellwether bitcoin, or even its closest rival ether. The DOT token’s market capitalization is currently over $19 billion, making it the fifth-largest crypto, according to CoinGecko data. The brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot is a blockchain network that supports various interconnected sub-chains called parachains. 

To be clear, these clients are not investing in DOT itself, but rather a security that tracks its performance. They won’t need to download special software to run a wallet, and the ETP meets the mundane requirements of traditional investing, such as an International Securities Identification Number.  

“We’ve seen the interest in trading cryptos increase markedly,” said Michael Lie, head of digital asset trading at Flow Traders, a market maker in crypto ETPs. “These products are an easy way to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies, without having to worry about custody.”

Tale of the tape

So far, Goldman Sachs, represented on the Bloomberg screen by the ticker symbol “GS,” purchased three lots of shares on behalf of a client, according to the data.

UBS has purchased 2,770 shares, JPMorgan under the ticker “JPMS” purchased 500 shares, ICAP purchased 1,000 shares, Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch under the ticker “MLCO” purchased 2,200 shares. 

Kepler Securities under the ticker “KEPL” purchased 550 shares, broker-dealer Instinet, owned by Japan’s Nomura and trading under the ticker “INCA,” purchased 9,280 shares, and Flow Traders, trading under the ticker “FLOW” purchased 6,897 shares.

Acting on clients’ behalf, banks and brokerages have purchased small amounts of shares in 21Shares’ Polkadot ETP.

Source: Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs said it had no knowledge of the trades and would look into it. Requests for comment from the other banks and brokerages were not returned by press time.

There has also been an increasing number of ETPs being listed on the SIX exchange. As of Jan. 13, the exchange reported there were six ETP providers with cryptocurrency products listed on the exchange and the number of ETPs listed was 34. 

The Polkadot ETP now has over $15 million in assets under management, said Laurent Kssis, Head of ETP with 21Shares. The firm also manages the Crypto Basket Index ETP, which tracks the performance of five major cryptocurrencies. Polkadot is now the second-largest component of the index, Kssis said. 

On Jan. 6, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority banned retail investors from accessing cryptocurrency exchange-traded notes, another type of ETP, explaining it considers the products too risky for everyday consumers. Despite the ban, the Bloomberg data shows there is strong demand for crypto ETPs from big-money investors. 

Traditional financial institutions have signaled an interest in handling actual cryptocurrency, not just proxy instruments. In January, for example, CoinDesk reported that Goldman Sachs had issued a request for information (RFI) to explore digital asset custody. 

Read more: Goldman Sachs to Enter Crypto Market ‘Soon’ With Custody Play: Source



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How Traditional Exchanges Are Boosting Crypto Adoption

Over the past year, demand for regulated crypto investment products has soared.

The increasing variety of exchange-traded products (ETPs) listed on traditional exchanges, and the rapid development of indices, have enabled more investors to gain exposure to crypto assets without the complexities of ownership and custody.  

Clara Medalie heads research and market analysis at Kaiko, a provider of institutional-grade crypto market data.  

Crypto ETPs are now traded in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Gibraltar and have been green-lighted in Hong Kong, with new applications awaiting approval in a handful of other countries. Further, the launch or planned development of crypto indices by CME Group, CBOE, NASDAQ, Bloomberg, S&P Dow Jones, and IHS Markit lays the groundwork for a variety of tradable funds and derivatives products. 

Traditional exchanges serve as the infrastructural interface between market participants ranging from licensed issuers to calculation agents to data providers to custodians, which is why the growth and diversity of crypto investment products will depend heavily on their lead. Collaboration with the crypto industry for the infrastructural requirements of these products will be crucial for ensuring success, which has the potential to drive a virtuous cycle of market efficiency.

Let’s take a look at the role that exchanges play.

(Clara Medalie/Kaiko)

The flurry of crypto ETP activity has been led by Germany’s Deutsche Boerse and Switzerland’s SIX exchange.  

SIX exchange now lists 22 crypto ETPs from seven issuers and recently reported record numbers of trades and order book turnover. In early January, a Bitcoin ETP on Deutsche Boerse reported average daily volumes at €57 million, up from €15.5 million the previous month, and nearly equal to that of the highest volume ETF on the exchange. 

The willingness of these exchanges to collaborate with crypto industry participants and invest in the infrastructure required to list these products has encouraged a group of innovative ETP issuers seeking to capitalize on surging demand for regulated offerings. Companies like CoinShares, VanEck, 21Shares, FiCAS AG, and WisdomTree have thus far all successfully listed crypto ETPs in Europe. 

In the U.S., exchange-traded crypto products have faced a series of regulatory hurdles that have prevented any approvals. Yet, a powerful alternative has emerged, highlighting the ever-growing demand for regulated investment vehicles. 

Crypto trusts

A crypto trust is a type of fund typically run by a professional management team. Accredited investors are able to invest in these trusts by purchasing shares over-the-counter, and there are fewer regulatory requirements compared with publicly traded ETPs.

The best example is the Grayscale Trust, which offers several funds tied to the value of crypto-assets whose shares can be purchased over-the-counter. Grayscale (which is owned by CoinDesk parent company Digital Currency Group) has become an indomitable force in crypto markets, with billions in AUM and yearly returns of +200%. Grayscale leads institutional investing in the U.S. through its regulated crypto offering and is the best evidence yet of  demand for these types of products, which are not yet available on traditional exchanges. 

See also: BlockFi’s Bitcoin Trust Takes Aim at GBTC

Yet, OTC-traded trusts have several disadvantages compared with traditional exchange-traded products: ETP markets are more liquid which makes price discovery more efficient, investors can easily enter or exit markets without having to lock up funds for a given time period, and the structure and rules of an ETP are fixed which provides an additional layer of security for an investor. 

Ultimately, the approval of an ETP in the U.S. would pose a significant challenge to the business model of funds like Grayscale. Investors typically prefer the increased flexibility and efficiency that comes with ETPs, which positions traditional exchanges to take the lead pending regulatory approval. 

Indices drive ETPs

The crypto indices developed by exchanges and data providers over the past few years have driven the growth and diversification of crypto investment products. Indices provide information about the price performance of an asset or basket of assets, and can be leveraged to build ETPs, funds and derivatives. 

CME’s cryptocurrency indices have enabled the launch of a variety of Bitcoin and Ethereum futures and options contracts. Open interest for CME’s derivatives contracts soared in 2020, at one point surpassing that of all other crypto derivatives exchanges. The huge success of CME’s crypto derivatives offering is the best example yet of how traditional exchanges are driving adoption. CME’s derivatives markets have improved overall market efficiency, which drives more investors to participate, which drives further efficiency – a virtuous cycle. 

Other exchanges and data providers are taking note: CBOE, Nasdaq, IHS Markits, and S&P Dow Jones have all either already launched or announced plans for crypto indices in 2021, which could eventually be used in tradeable crypto products.

Europe vs. the U.S.

We can see a clear divergence in regulated products on either side of the Atlantic. Europe is much more ETP friendly, while the U.S. has become a force in regulated crypto derivatives and indices. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has staunchly rejected any crypto ETP proposals thus far, turning down ETF (a type of ETP) applications filed by Bitwise, Wilshire Phoenix and VanEck. Europe has taken a much friendlier approach towards ETPs, but has been notably stricter with derivatives, with a recent ban in the U.K. on crypto derivatives. 

See also: S&P Dow Jones Indices to Launch Crypto Indexes in 2021

In both regions, innovation has thrived when regulation allows it. 

In a recent report published by Bitwise and ETF Trends on financial advisors, 47% of respondents noted that the approval of a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. would make them more comfortable allocating crypto to client portfolios, a sign that regulation is currently one of the biggest roadblocks to adoption. 

In conclusion

We are still in the very early stages of cryptocurrency financial products and there remain many regulatory hurdles to pass. 

Yet, what we do know is that adoption is accelerating and regulators and exchanges, at least in some countries, are open to innovation. The pace of ETP applications has picked up considerably over the past year, indicating that demand is surging and companies are racing to fill this gap. 

As regulatory frameworks become clearer, the willingness of traditional exchanges to build the infrastructure to support tradable crypto products will drive further market efficiency. However, collaboration with crypto actors will be crucial to the success of these initiatives.  



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World’s First Polkadot ETP Launching on Swiss Exchange

Key Takeaways

  • Thanks to 21Shares, Polkadot will soon be available as an exchange-traded product for the first time.
  • The Polkadot ETP will launch on the Swiss SIX exchange.
  • 21Shares recently added Polkadot to its cryptocurrency index, alongside assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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After adding Polkadot to its crypto index, 21Shares is launching an exchange-traded product (ETP) for the Web3 network’s currency. 

Polkadot Gets an ETP 

Investment product provider 21Shares is launching an ETP for the Web3 network’s DOT currency under the ticker PDOT. It will be available on the Swiss SIX exchange on Feb. 4. 

It’s the world’s first ETP for the growing parachain network. 

Polkadot was also recently added to the 21Shares cryptocurrency index. That product, which is named “HODL,” gives users access to various leading cryptocurrencies in one basket. It includes other cryptocurrencies with a large market cap like Bitcoin and Ether.

Polkadot’s weighting in the basket is 26.79% at publication, second behind only Bitcoin. 

The PDOT ETP is the first product that gives exposure to Polkadot alone. It’s primarily aimed at retail investors. 

Web3 Gains Steam

The Polkadot network has been growing rapidly, hosting innovations like multi-chain synthetic indexes and Solidity-compatible smart contract platforms.

The network’s ecosystem includes several parachains that run off the main network to improve scalability. It differs from Ethereum, which is working towards Layer-2 implementation and sharding with the eventual completion of Ethereum 2.0.

Notable parachains include Moonbeam and Polkadot’s answer to DeFi, Acala Network. 

Like Ethereum, Polkadot hopes to become a fundamental part of a decentralized world that’s been dubbed “Web3.” Though much of its growing network is focused on interoperability with other chains, it’s possible that one day it could become a serious competitor to Ethereum in the race to capture DeFi. 

Polkadot recently became the fifth-largest blockchain by market cap. It’s valued at roughly $16.2 billion, according to CoinGecko. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, among a number of other cryptocurrencies. 

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 39,400.56 1.54%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,162.21 3.22%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 71.91 0.08%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 229.81 1.68%