Just a few years ago, crypto investments were all about bitcoin. Today, traditional investors are aware of many other cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Our top-class research department deals extensively with technological developments, analyses the most critical trends, and always asks: "what's next ?"

This profound data-based know-how forms the basis for our financial products, the exchange-traded products (ETPs), in which 21Shares is a pioneer. Here is a sneak peek into the decentralised future.

Web3

To understand what the phenomenon of Web3 is all about, let us trace the historical development of the internet. In the 1990s, the World Wide Web began as a kind of online library in its static form. In 2004, the internet became interactive.

With the transition to Web 2.0, users were no longer just consumers but could suddenly produce content independently. Web3 now represents the next iteration of the internet. Web3 enables digital ownership of crypto assets, making users the co-owners of this new internet. All value (including data) created by an internet user remains in their possession. And is not third-party controlled.

Decentralised finance (DeFi)

DeFi stands for "decentralised finance" and describes different financial solutions on the blockchain. Thanks to smart contract platforms, traditional financial services such as loans, payments, exchanges, insurance, or asset management can be mapped decentrally on the blockchain using smart contracts. A prominent example of this is Aave Arc. A solution that offers institutional investors regulated access to DeFi applications.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

A non-fungible token (NFT) is uniquely identifiable and fundamentally non-divisible. It is different from any other token. Although non-fungible tokens belong to the same genus, they are not the same. So anyone who owns an NFT can complete a digital proof of ownership on a blockchain.

Therefore, debt collection statements and other digital certificates can be stored on the blockchain using NFTs, making them more verifiable. Players such as Marvel, NBA, McDonald, Twitter, Nike, and Reddit already use NFT. NFTs are more than just overpriced images. They will one day be used in art, music, sports, real estate, gaming, and the metaverse.

Metaverse

The definition of the term "metaverse" seems unclear. It could be summarised as follows: The metaverse is a virtual world that can appear centrally or decentrally. Therefore, it is a place to make virtual contacts, play, build, or work. The internet is likely to change from its current 2D form to an even more experiential 3D structure with the metaverse.

Well-known decentralised metaverse projects are Decentraland or Sandbox. The idea here is that users can create this world and own it independently in the form of crypto assets. Over the next few years, two fundamentally different versions will duel it out: the closed, centralised versus the accessible, open, and decentralised meta-metaverse

ETPs from 21Shares

21Shares is the world's first and largest issuer of ETPs for digital assets. The provider manages over $2.5bn assets under management (AUM) and with currently 30 ETPs has the most extensive product range. With an ETP, 21Shares packages different crypto assets into a regulated financial product, which are 100% physically backed.

The product offering encompasses single trackers, i.e., ETPs that track single crypto-assets such as bitcoin, ether, luna or solana. In addition, the are also basket-solutions, where the corresponding ETP tracks a basket of different crypto assets. As the only issuer, 21 Shares also has a Short Bitcoin ETP, which gives investors exposure to the inverse of the daily price movement of Bitcoin.

The triumph of crypto assets is unstoppable. The associated technological advances are groundbreaking and so are the investment opportunities.