Ethereum ETF countdown: Bitwise CIO sees ‘birth of a new asset class’

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Wall Street is getting ready for a new batch of cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds: ethereum. 

Spot ether ETFs could hit the market as soon as this week, pending U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approval, and Bitwise Asset Management’s Matthew Hougan plans to get in on the action.

“What you’re seeing is this sort of the birth of a new asset class,” the firm’s chief investment officer told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday.

Hougan’s firm is applying for spot ether ETFs.

“If you want to invest in the growth of tokenization, ethereum is like the picks and shovels play,” Hougan said. “It underpins all of it. … I think that is going to appeal to a lot of people.”

He thinks cryptocurrency ETFs overall are a multiyear story. Hougan is referring to the first spot bitcoin ETFs that launched in January. He sees their success as a good indicator of the future.

“It’s [bitcoin] moving into the mainstream,” he noted. “That’s going to be a multiyear story.”

Spot bitcoin ETFs have attracted about $15 billion since their launch and currently hold two of the top ETF inflows this year, according to FactSet.

Hougan views bitcoin’s recent success as unprecedented and sees it as a bullish indicator for spot ether ETFs. 

“If we get five or 10 or 15 billion dollars in the first two years of these ethereum ETFs, that is a massive runaway success,” Hougan said.

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