Franklin Templeton is launching a metaverse exchange-traded fund (ETF) for European investors as it seeks to
The fund, named the Franklin Metaverse UCITS ETF, will track Solactive Global Metaverse Innovation Net Total Return Index, which includes companies that have significant exposure to the metaverse, including blockchain applications, like payments firm Block, crypto investing firm Galaxy Digital and gaming company Electronic Arts, the company said Tuesday.
Franklin Templeton, which had more than $1.4 trillion assets under management as of July 31, is betting that the metaverse and blockchain "could profoundly impact societies and global economic growth," said Dina Ting, head of global index portfolio management at Franklin Templeton. "Blockchain technology development is propelling metaverse expansion possibilities in compelling and far-reaching ways."
The company joins other traditional U.S. asset managers exploring crypto offerings. Last month, BlackRock, the world's biggest investment manager, launched a product offering institutional clients exposure to spot bitcoin. Asset manager T. Rowe Price, with $1.3 trillion under management, recently appointed Blue Macellari, who previously worked at crypto hedge fund, as its head of digital assets strategy.
This isn't Franklin Templeton's first move in the digital asset space. Last year, the firm formed a blockchain venture fund that aimed to raise as much as $20 million and launched a U.S. mutual fund on the blockchain. In April, a veteran of investment bank Citi joined the asset manager to spearhead digital asset research.
The firm’s ETF platform itself has more than $12 billion in assets as of Aug. 31 and contains a range of active, smart beta and passive ETFs. The companies are selected by Solactive’s proprietary natural language processing engine ARTIS, per the release.
The new ETF will list on Deutsche Börse Xetra (XETRA) on Sept. 7, and Borsa Italiana as well as London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Sept. 9.
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