Grayscale Breaks Into Crypto Index Business With FTSE Russell

Grayscale Breaks Into Crypto Index Business With FTSE Russell

The firms will work together to launch five indexes focused on digital assets. 

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

Grayscale Investments, a cryptocurrency asset-management firm, has joined forces with FTSE Russell, the index division of the London Stock Exchange, to roll out five new cryptocurrency-focused indexes.  

The five indexes represent different sectors of the cryptocurrency industry, including the following: currencies, smart-contract platforms, financials, consumer and coculture, and utilities and service. The indexes will be reassessed quarterly, according to a press release Tuesday. The indexes will be used for ETFs and other funds. 

“Investors have increasingly expressed interest in diversifying beyond crypto’s largest assets, bitcoin and ethereum, and many look to Grayscale to better understand this robust, evolving asset class,” Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said in the statement.  

The indexes include exposure to 150 different kinds of cryptocurrencies.  

The announcement comes as Grayscale is in the midst of its own race to bring a spot bitcoin ETF to market.

In late August, the firm won a watershed legal victory when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rejection of Grayscale’s application to convert its nearly $20 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded fund was “arbitrary and capricious.” 

On Monday, the SEC said it won't appeal the ruling, and on the same day, Sonnenshein said at a media dinner an approval was a matter of “when, not if.”  

Sonnenshein noted that in the future the index partnership could product indexes tracking spot cryptocurrencies. The first spot bitcoin ETF was rolled out in Europe in August.  

Partnership With FTSE Russell 

The partnership with FTSE Russell comes as traditional-finance firms look toward digital assets as a new frontier of development. BlackRock shook up the spot bitcoin ETF race when the firm joined over the summer.  

FTSE Russell has about $20 trillion in assets benchmarked in its indexes. The index company formed a partnership with Digital Asset Research in 2021 to roll out cryptocurrency-focused indexes.  

“With our shared expertise, we have created a sector-defining approach to capture innovation that will enable improved decision-making in this growing asset class,” FTSE Rusell CEO Fiona Bassett said the press release. “This fundamental construct offers critical insight to help investors make decisions with clarity and conviction.” 

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.