There isn’t a Bitcoin exchange traded fund in the U.S. — or any ETF directly tied to any other cryptocurrency, for that matter — and while there’s budding enthusiasm that this could soon change with approval of a Bitcoin futures ETF, there are no guarantees on that front.
While the state of the U.S. Bitcoin ETF situation is frustrating crypto and ETF fans alike, ETF issuers are developing new ideas for filling this void. Consider the Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF and the Invesco Alerian Galaxy Blockchain Users and Decentralized Commerce ETF, both of which debuted last week.
Both new ETFs use equity-based approaches to deliver to investors participation in the growing digital assets ecosystem. That’s relevant for multiple reasons, one prominent example being the increasing adoption rates of crypto, which are generating buzz among market participants. Likewise, many investors find this asset class compelling, but they may prefer indirect exposure over the volatility associated with owning specific digital tokens.
“Well-known companies, such as Tesla and PayPal, and governments throughout the world continue to explore the benefits of leveraging cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to improve their operations. That’s one important way many investors believe that digital assets can play a role in diversified portfolios as adoption may grow,” according to Invesco research.
Sizing Up SATO
The newly minted SATO is based on the Alerian Galaxy Global Cryptocurrency-Focused Blockchain Equity, Trusts and ETPs Index. That benchmark doesn’t hold individual digital assets. Rather, it’s home to companies engaged in crypto-related endeavors such as mining and buying crypto.
SATO’s 38 holdings include well-known names such as MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) — one of the biggest holders of bitcoin in corporate America — and Square (NYSE:SQ). For investors, there are advantages in the SATO methodology.
“Some people view digital assets as valuable sources of diversification. Since 2011, Bitcoin has exhibited low monthly correlations with other asset classes,” notes Invesco.
While Invesco rightly points out that crypto is a young asset class — Bitcoin burst onto the scene in 2009 — it is proving to have some correlation-reducing benefits. Speaking of correlations, if it’s equity exposure to Bitcoin and the like that investors are craving, they could be left disappointed with broad market funds or even tech ETFs, which aren’t all that correlated to Bitcoin. Conversely, some stocks, such as some members of SATO’s roster, are displaying increasingly intimate correlations to Bitcoin.
SATO charges 0.60% per year, or $60 on a $10,000 stake.
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