Crypto stocks not coins: Bitwise kicks off trading in new crypto innovators ETF

An exchange-traded fund tracking 30 companies in the crypto market kicked off trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Per an announcement by asset management firm Bitwise, the so-called Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (ticket: BITQ) tracks the performance of firms including Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and Galaxy Digital. The index is weighted by market cap, with Coinbase ($COIN) making up the most of the fund's weighting at 9.56%. 

Other constituents include mining firms like Riot Blockchain and Canaan. 

“Like e-commerce and mobile before it, crypto is a disruptive technology creating massive opportunities for new companies to emerge as winners,” Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise, said in a press statement. “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.”

Crypto stocks have seen their performance flatten over the past month after a breakneck start to 2021. Coinbase—which went public on the Nasdaq in April—is down more than 8% since its listing day. 

A bitcoin ETF has yet to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. As such fund hopefuls await approval, the list of wannabe issuers continues to grow, spanning firms like Anthony Scaramucci's Skybridge and asset management giant Fidelity.

Bitwise had previously sought approval from the SEC to launch such a fund, but the firm withdrew its application with the SEC earlier this year.