The latest move in cryptocurrency has shown some remarkable movement in conventional financial sectors, and it’s got people asking big questions about the future of crypto.
As we’ve previously reported, CoinShares recently launched an ETN on the NASDAQ. Tl;dr for those of you who aren’t giant currency nerds: folks who invest on NASDAQ could invest normal money in a cryptocurrency, in this case ether, the token behind Ethereum, and get back normal-money returns.
Doing that with ether was new, hence the article, but the concept itself was not: there have been ETNs based in bitcoin on the market since 2015. What’s new is the numbers.
Those bitcoin ETNs from the grim darkness of 2015 didn’t do half bad. They’re currently valued at $330 million AUM (assets under management.) But it took time. It was a year before the bitcoin ETNs hit even $10 million total.
Buy-in was slow and tentative, as mainstream investment in new things is wont to be. People with money are leery of parting with it, especially on unproven ideas. Film at 11.
The Ethereum ETNs hit $10 million in less than a week.
That is, to say the least, a surprise. It is to say the most a statement that investors are starting to see cryptocurrencies as something bigger than a sideshow. If you did Marketing 101, and if you’ve gotten this far in the article you’re plainly enough of a business nerd that you could probably teach Marketing 101, you know a day one purchase isn’t just about excitement.
It’s about confidence. You’re so sure what you’re buying will do what you want that you don’t need to wait and see how other purchasers fare. That kind of mainstream confidence in cryptocurrency is straight-up unprecedented.
It’s also something stakeholders want to support. CoinShares, which represents the companies that issue the bitcoin and ether ETNs, is adding a dedicated research arm.
Their goal is to provide the hard data that can be hard to sift from the marketing and… a kind word might be “enthusiasm” that often obscures the numbers on cryptocurrency. To take the language straight from their press release, they’re shooting for “a pragmatic discussion with a simple valuation approach to consider.”
No hype, no manifestos, just hard numbers and plenty of context for what they mean.
In short, they’re treating the ether token as an investment asset, and giving their clients the tools to do the same. That approach is another major step toward cryptocurrency in general and ether in particular becoming a permanent part of the global financial landscape. We’re not talking magic future money anymore. This is the real thing.