21Shares’ CEO Rashwan hints at a ‘few surprises’ in the pipeline following sterling launches

Tom Eckett

a man in a suit and tie

Hany Rashwan, CEO of 21Shares, has revealed there will be a “few surprises” this year following the launch of the world’s first sterling cryptocurrency ETPs today.

Speaking to ETF Stream, Rashwan (pictured) said the reason for bringing sterling crypto ETPs to market was due to the spike in UK investor demand for the asset class.

According to a Fidelity survey of 800 institutional investors, 45% of European respondents are currently invested in digital assets while 60% believe they have a place in portfolios.

Having sterling ETPs will remove the cost of high FX conversions as well as access restriction limitations where brokers cannot settle in foreign currency for local clients, 21Shares, formerly known as Amun, explained.

The ETPs, which have management fees of 1.49%, are the latest from the firm which brought the first cryptocurrency ETP to market in November 2018.

However, Rashwan said the Swiss issuer is only getting started with more ETPs planned on being launched in more currencies and different geographies.

“Last year was a banner year for new listings and we have a few surprises up our sleeve for the remainder of 2020 as well,” he continued.

New issuers have started to enter the rapidly developing space in recent times with ETC Group partnering with HANetf to list the first crypto ETP on the Deutsche Boerse earlier this month while WisdomTree has also brought to market a bitcoin ETP.

For Rashwan, competition is very much a positive for an asset class still very much in its infant stages.

“We absolutely welcome competition. The asset class has changed dramatically over the last year and it is clear cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

“A great tide will lift all boats, we just have to make sure our products stand out.”

Amun expands crypto range to Germany

This, so far, has been achieved by having the widest ranging suite by some distance and being the only issuer to offer investors baskets of cryptocurrencies through the ETP wrapper.

However, the total crypto ETP space remains very small so investor education about the asset class is a number one priority for the firm.

“Education is a huge point. A lot of our job is education. As a result, we publish a quarterly journal, we do a lot of work through social media and videos and we have a dedicated research team.

“We overinvest in education as a result. We want to make the point that bitcoin is a non-correlated, asymmetric risk-return asset – there is a place for that in any portfolio.

“Even a single digit weighting has a material impact on an investor’s portfolio because of bitcoin’s characteristics.”

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