Stellar Lumens (XLM) has reached the fifth position in the cryptocurrency market. According to its market capitalization, XLM is the fifth largest cryptocurrency. Its market cap at the time of writing is $4.62 billion dollars. XLM surpassed the popular platform EOS that occupied the position for several months.

Stellar Lumens Reaches the Fifth Position

After several months operating relatively stable compared to BTC, XLM was able to reach the fifth place in the market. Although the virtual currency market experienced a negative trend during the current year, Stellar was able to scale positions in the crypto world.

During the last weeks, XLM registered an increased trading volume. According to CoinMarketCap, the virtual currency registered peaks of $113 million dollars transacted compared to $35-40 million dollars usually moved.

One of the main factors for Stellar to start increasing in price is related to a very important announcement. Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency platforms announced in July that it was exploring the addition of several virtual currencies. Among these digital assets was Stellar Lumens (XLM). At that time, XLM registered a price increase of 88% in just a few days.

Since Coinbase’s announcement, two virtual currencies were added to its platform, 0x (ZRX) and Basic Attention Token (BAT). There are just a few virtual currencies that could be added next, and Stellar can be one of them. This is why investors are speculating with the price of this virtual currency once it gets listed in Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

There is another important thing to mention about Stellar. The XLM community has experienced the largest airdrop ever conducted by a crypto company. $125 million dollars worth of XLM has been released to the market. The main intention was to draw attention from the crypto community. Currently, each XLM token can be purchased for $0.24 dollars.

Furthermore, Stellar’s price increase is not the only reason why it is currently in the fifth position in the market. EOS has also played an important role. During the last months, several issues arose in the EOS community. Its mainnet launch generated a lot of interest from the crypto community. Nevertheless, the governability structure implemented by the platform did not provide the promised results.

EOS is now the sixth largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $4.44 billion dollars. Each EOS token can be bought for less than $5 dollars.

*This post is credited to Use The Bitcoin

An exchange-traded product tracking an index of five leading cryptocurrencies reportedly will start trading on Switzerland’s Six stock exchange next week. The product will be available to both retail and institutional investors.

Trading on Six Swiss Exchange

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Switzerland’s Six exchange has given a green light to a cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP). The news outlet elaborated:

The Amun Crypto ETP, which will start trading next week on the Six exchange in Zurich, has been designed to track an index based on the movements of five leading cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Product to Trade on Swiss Stock Exchange Next WeekSix Swiss Exchange is Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, trading a wide range of securities. According to the exchange, ETPs “are secured, bearer debt securities that do not earn interest,” so they “are not subject to the Collective Investment Schemes Act (Cisa) and, as such, are not supervised by Finma.” The exchange has a different category for exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Hany Rashwan, co-founder and CEO of Amun, explained that the crypto ETP “had been constructed to meet the same strict standards required of conventional exchange-traded products widely used by investors,” the publication conveyed. He was quoted as saying:

The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments.

Tracked Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Product to Trade on Swiss Stock Exchange Next Week

The underlying investment of Amun ETP is Amun Crypto Basket Index (ticker: Hodl5), its website details. Mv Index Solutions (Mvis) and London-based fintech company Amun Technologies Ltd. launched the index in September. The ETP was subsequently launched by Amun AG, a subsidiary of Amun Technologies Ltd. located in Zug, Switzerland. Mvis is a subsidiary of Vaneck which currently has an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to list and trade a bitcoin ETF.

Cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Product to Trade on Swiss Stock Exchange Next Week
Amun Crypto Basket Index’s allocation.

Amun Crypto Basket Index “tracks performance of the top 5 crypto assets in terms of market cap and liquidity, providing diversified exposure to the crypto space while using its proprietary methodology to effectively manage the volatility associated with less liquid/smaller crypto assets,” its website describes.

The company explained that the basket excludes cryptocurrencies that are tied to a fiat currency such as tether, are designed to be anonymous such as monero and zcash, lack sufficient liquidity, trade on non-reputable exchanges, or have been traded for less than 6 months. According to the Financial Times, the ETP will carry an annual management fee of 2.5 percent.

Currently, the basket comprises 48.69 percent BTC, 25.72 percent XRP, 17.60 percent ETH, 5.11 percent BCH, and 2.88 percent LTC. It is rebalanced “monthly to ensure an accurate representation of the current crypto market,” the company explained.

*This post is credited to Bitcoins News

Micro-blogging site Twitter has confirmed that a third party software provider is responsible for the series of cryptocurrency-related hacking on its platform.

A Twitter spokesperson said attackers exploited a third-party marketing solution to blast fake Bitcoin giveaway links from a slew of verified accounts, The Next Web reported on Friday.

The confirmation comes days after a number of high-profile public figures and brands including Elon Musk and Google got their accounts breached to propagate malicious cryptocurrency giveaway links.

To make the accounts appear legitimate, the scammers used accounts with Twitter’s own verification mark.

In such cases, clicking on any of the links in the scam guided users to a page where they were urged to send anywhere from 0.1-one Bitcoin to the scammers — with the promise that they would receive one-10 Bitcoin as a reward, the media had reported.

But the victims never received any Bitcoin after sending money to the scammers.

The scam is made to seem more trustworthy as various other compromised accounts reply to the tweet claiming that it works.

The confirmation the hackings originated from a third-party app explains how the attackers managed to run the Bitcoin giveaway scam at such a large scale and in such an organised manner,” the report added.

*This post is credited to Hindustantimes

Singapore has made efforts to establish itself as a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry.

A group of local and international academics met in Singapore on Thursday, November 15, to discuss the impact of digital currencies on monetary policy and financial stability, says an official report released by the Singaporean government.

The conference, a two-day session entitled Workshop on Digital Currency Economics and Policy was funded and organized by the National University of Singapore Business School, the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“This workshop aims to deepen understanding of the important monetary policy and regulatory issues implied by these fast-evolving developments,” said Edward Robinson, Assistant Managing Director and Chief economist at Monetary Authority of Singapore. “In conjunction with the third Singapore FinTech Festival, it features specially commissioned studies that can contribute to formalising a framework for analysis. A robust understanding of the implications of digital currencies will inform policies pertinent to central banks and regulators.”

Voices at the Conference Are Bullish on Crypto, Albeit in Slightly Different Ways

Academics speaking at the conference have presented several arguments in favor of digital currencies. Professor David Yermack argued that the introduction of a private digital currency could promote economic welfare by reducing incentives for government-induced inflation and by providing an opportunity to diversify local investments. His sentiments were echoed by Professor Berry Eichengreen of the Berkeley Department of Economics, who argued that “while the centralised control of monies has rarely been complete, the bias towards concentration of currency issuance in the hands of a central government is clear.”

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Famed economist Kenneth Rogoff, who also spoke at the event, presented a slightly different view. According to a government report on the first day of the event, Rogoff said that “digital currencies may have a future as regulated, central-bank issued currencies, rather than private ones.”

Singapore Is Gunning to Establish Itself as Worldwide Crypto Industry Hub

In late September, reports emerged that Singapore is determined to become the first country to “fully embrace” cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Authority of Singapore published a “Guide to Digital Token Offerings” last year, in which a clear legal structure was established for token sales.

Of the report, Damien Pang (Head of the Technology Infrastructure Office under the FinTech & Innovation Group (FTIG) at the Monetary Authority of Singapore) said that “The MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present, and in the future, instead of just the technology built on.”

It doesn’t aim to regulate technology itself but [its] purpose.”

*This post is credited to Finance Magnates

At 18:02 UTC, the bitcoin cash blockchain officially split in two.

With one iteration of the bitcoin cash protocol called Bitcoin “Satoshi’s Vision,” or Bitcoin SV, directly opposing the upgrades introduced through the project’s long-dominant Bitcoin ABC implementation, the blockchain forked into two distinct networks, with two separate cryptocurrencies.

And while a so-called “hash war” had been greatly anticipated, for now – at least – the two chains are steadily mining blocks on their respective networks. At press time, threats of cross-chain sabotage hinted at by Bitcoin SV proponents have yet to materialize, nor has any retaliation from the ABC camp.

Initially, the Bitcoin ABC network was the only bitcoin cash platform to successfully create new blocks and validate transactions after the system upgrade (or hard fork) went live. Two blocks in, however, the Bitcoin SV network saw its first block mined at 18:29 UTC.

Mining pool Mempool mined the first block of Bitcoin SV, with SVPool and Coingeek mining subsequent blocks. Mining pools Bitcoin.comBTC.com and Antpool have controlled the ABC action to date.

As of press time, Bitcoin ABC is 10 blocks ahead of Bitcoin SV, according to data compiled by Coin Dance.

How it’s all playing out

Thus far, most blocks mined on the Bitcoin ABC network have featured over 1,000 transactions, though starting at 20:48 UTC a significant drop in both block size and transaction count was recorded on blockchain explorer site Blockchair.

A few hours before hard fork activation, mining pools purporting to support the Bitcoin SV roadmap controlled a supermajority of the bitcoin cash network. However, according to bitcoin cash monitoring site CoinDance, Bitcoin ABC is now leading in terms of total hash power support.

One such example that received high attention over the course of today’s events was mining pool Bitcoin.com, which released an announcement to users saying all hash power going into mining the bitcoin blockchain would be temporarily deployed to mine Bitcoin ABC blocks.

Though this announcement received negative feedback from those who claimed the organization had no legal right to redirect mining support in this way, data on the site indicates that starting at 17:30 UTC the mining pool has steadily been reallocating hash power in support of the Bitcoin ABC blockchain.

In fact, as of press time, bitcoin.com purports that a total of 4218.89 Ph/s of hash power is being used to mine blocks on the Bitcoin ABC network; just one day prior that figure sat at roughly 240.00 Ph/s.

Remaining questions

As might be expected, the existence of two bitcoin cash chains leaves many questions, primarily regarding what will transpire in the days that come – and whether one chain ultimately gives way to another.

There was also an event Thursday that left lingering questions: as shown by blockchain explorer BlockDozer, a major spike in activity occurred within minutes of the chain split.

Taken by CoinDesk at 18:11 UTC, the above GIF captures transactions being submitted to the network in real-time on Blockdozer.

Who caused this spike in transaction activity – and for what purpose – remains unknown at this time, though the potential for another spam attack in efforts to overload either network is an ongoing possibility.

What’s more, wild fluctuations in bitcoin cash price were also seen throughout the day across different cryptocurrency exchanges.

Depending on ongoing hash power support and implementation of either software upgrade from users, prices could continue to see swings – but given the uniqueness of the scenario, it’s difficult to say at this time.

According to numbers on crypto exchange Poloniex, the comparative value estimated of both bitcoin cash cryptocurrencies is currently about $94 for Bitcoin SV and $285 for Bitcoin ABC.

*This post is credited to Coindesk

‘Big four’ accounting firm KPMG has just asserted that cryptocurrency assets, like Bitcoin $BTC▼1.84%, are simply not ready to be classified as real currencies – and that using Bitcoin as a store of value is a “fool’s errand.”

In a new report, KPMG details the challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry, as it seeks adoption by the world’s largest financial institutions.

Ultimately, KPMG posits that if cryptocurrency related assets have any hopes of truly flourishing, they simply must undergo what it calls ‘institutionalization.’

The firm defines institutionalization as the at-scale participation in the cryptocurrency market of banks, broker dealers, exchanges, payment providers, fintech companies, and other entities in the global financial services ecosystem.

“We believe this is a necessary next step for crypto to create trust and scale,” KPMG declares.

Of course, it is hardly surprising that KPMG – a company which generated $26 billion in revenue in 2017 – would hold this view. But do its arguments hold any water? Let’s dig into the report.

KPMG says Bitcoin is not a currency – yet

According to KPMG chief economist Constance Hunter, in order for a cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to be candidates for institutionalization, they must first meet the traditional definition of a currency.

For that, a cryptocurrency asset must meet three criteria: it can be used as a unit of account, a store of value, and a unit of exchange.

The first test is easy, as cryptocurrencies are made up of identical, yet individual units of account, meant to be measured as such. For example, there are 21 million Bitcoin to ever exist – and you can account for every single one using the blockchain.

Although, as a store of value, Hunter considers cryptocurrencies to be far too unstable, especially when mapped to traditional functions of finance like borrowing.

“Consider for a moment extending a person or entity a loan in a cryptocurrency,” writes Hunter. “The value is too unstable at the moment to be assured repayment. Under these conditions, neither lenders nor borrowers would be willing to take the risk of transacting in cryptocurrencies.”

To Hunter, the act of borrowing or lending in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (one that risks significant devaluation) would be a “fool’s errand.” This makes cryptocurrency assets, in their current form, simply too volatile to be considered a legitimate store of value, or even an effective method of exchange.

“In order to be a medium of exchange, a crypto must be a store of value. In order to be a store of value, the speculative nature of crypto must dissipate,” Hunter explains. “Until at least one crypto meets all three criteria, they cannot be considered full currencies.”

Friction is how currencies become real

Cryptocurrency assets usually aspire to be usable currencies within the general economy, and to certain extent, Bitcoin has achieved that already.

Despite the current rates of adoption, Hunter claims that currencies only become legitimate when they find “friction” to reduce within the world economy, a fancy finance term for a solid use-case.

For example, when the Euro was first introduced within the European Union immediately simplified trade between members.

Similarly, the US dollar acts as the world’s reserve currency, removing the hassle of exchanging between fiat currencies when conducting international commodities trade.

Both are instances of a currency increasing its adoption by alleviating friction in the financial system. When Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency asset) can achieve this, then the institutionalization can begin.

Hunter concedes it is certainly possible to find the friction within the global financial system for a cryptocurrency asset to alleviate. The global payments market is a solid candidate, as individuals currently pay high fees to transact.

“If a crypto could achieve enough stability of value to be used for this purpose, it could eliminate the need to have bank accounts in multiple countries and could allow individuals to transfer money to anyone without paying wire fees,” says Hunter. “If a fully equipped crypto that has a stable value becomes easier and less expensive to transact than a government-issued fiat currency, it could be an innovation that becomes ubiquitous in the global financial services system.”

Sound familiar? (Hint: think stablecoins, digital fiat!)

It’s all about trust

The larger KPMG report outlines major barriers for facing cryptocurrencies before being institutionalized. Most of them relate adhering to regulatory obligations and keeping up-to-date financial records, which in turn makes the greater finance industry more comfortable with dealing with crypto-assets.

So, to pander to the fatcats, KPMG suggests those who are launching crypto-assets with intent to be adopted by the traditional finance industry should impose strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering rules on customers and the digital assets they trade.

This includes making use of services that specialize in proving the provenance of digital assets, which can help alleviate concerns of being exposed to illegal activity like money laundering.

Indeed, many cryptocurrency products and services have already bent over backwards for institutionalization, facing immediate, widespread backlash.

It is yet to be seen if any of these measures have helped spur adoption.

Exchange operators and other fintech businesses also need to define clear tax guidelines for investors related to the various kinds of crypto-assets they offer, and must be wary of the rules and regulations surrounding the exchange of crypto-assets classified as securities.

This includes setting protocol for when blockchains undergo hard forks and split into two separate cryptocurrencies, as this presents taxable events that have greater implications for the future of the underlying digital asset being forked.

KPMG’s guide to the instituionalization of cryptocurrencies may very well be handy for the digital assets vying for adoption by the traditional finance world.

However, if Bitcoin’s identity as a real currency relies on being adopted by the very financial system it was built to rebuke, I think we may have found the true fool’s errand.

*This post is credited to Thenextweb

A recent discovery shows the presence of phony cryptocurrency wallets found on the Google Play Store. The fight against malicious apps seems not to be ending any time soon.

Fake Wallets: The Latest Scheme by Cryptocurrency Thieves

According to The Next Web, European cybersecurity researcher, Lukas Stefanko, discovered that four fake virtual currency apps claimed to offer wallet services for NEO, MetaMask, and Tether.

Further findings by Stefanko revealed that the fake apps divided into two groups – phishing and plain counterfeit wallets. The fake MetaMask app fell into the phishing category. After the user installs the fake app, it would request for the user’s sensitive details such as private keys and wallet password. Provision of these details would cost the victim his/her virtual coins.

A screenshot by Stefanko showed that the fake MetaMask app had over 500 downloads and a 2.8-star rating by 48 reviewers. The real MetaMask app, however, does not have any app on the Google Play Store but is a web browser extension for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

In contrast, the other group consists of fake wallets, and this is the category into which the other three fake wallets fall. Two of them masqueraded as NEO wallets, while the third pretended to be a wallet for Tether.

The fake apps display the scammer’s public address without access to the private key for the user, as the scammer owns the private key. Any cryptocurrency fund deposited into the fake wallet directly goes to the attacker’s wallet. The user cannot withdraw funds because he/she does not possess the private key.

Furthermore, research showed that the scammers used AppyBuilder, a drag and drop mobile app builder platform, to create the fake apps. Anyone can use the app builder, as coding skill is not a requirement. The number of scammed victims cannot is unclear. Google has, however, removed the fake wallets from its Play Store.

Tech Companies Going Hard on Cryptocurrency

Ethereum World News recently reported the presence of a fake EOS wallet on Google Play Store. This was the latest attempt by hackers to steal funds from unsuspecting victims. A Brazilian developer company discovered and reported the malicious app to Google who promptly removed the app.

In August, there was also a report another scam app on the Android Google Play Store. Victims paid $390 to an app that called itself “Ethereum,” that claimed to sell one Ethereum for the exorbitant amount. What they got was a picture of the Ethereum logo.

In Q3 of 2018, Google announced the ban of mobile virtual currency mining from Play Store. This was in addition to its earlier mining script ban.

The American tech giant, Apple Inc., also updated its developer guidelines. Part of the new rules banned iPhone users from mining cryptocurrency.

*This post is credited to Ethereumworldnews

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have redefined the way payments, and settlements are now exchanging and being transferred throughout the world. Owing to their decentralized nature, virtual currencies including Ripple’s XRP are immune to challenges such as government bureaucracy and inflation to mention a few.

But everyone knows, cryptocurrency is a perfect medium for sending and receiving large sums of money from one part of the world to the other.

In recent time, the cryptocurrency market has been experiencing the emergence and introduction of new applications into the cryptocurrency ecosystem that allows merchants and users to trade, store, and exchange virtual currencies such as BTC and XRP.

Despite the progress that is being made in the cryptocurrency world, many governments and nations are still on the fence when it comes to incorporating and adopting blockchain technology.

However, Thailand seems to be going against the tides as it is eager to embrace the revolutionary technology while other countries such as the US are still trying to figure out the technology and how best they can implement it in their current operations.

Thailand is so much into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency that they are already plotting on how they can come up with their own central bank virtual currency(Ripple’s aim right from the beginning has been to make XRP a base currency for banks, so probably a pair made in heaven?).

Subsequently, Thai regulators have been making substantial progress since 2017; from permitting exchanges and ICOs to conduct their operations in the country to inaugurate a cryptocurrency license company.

The country has also caught the attention of international companies that are impressed by their clear-cut and decisive regulations governing foreign blockchain companies. Thailand is quickly emerging as an example worth emulating across Southeast Asia, and as a country worth the attention of cryptocurrency and blockchain startup founders as it is a fertile ground for the technology.

What is TOK Cryptocurrency Exchange?

TOK is a new cryptocurrency exchange service that generally attends as a wallet to hold virtual currencies as well as a mobile exchange. In addition to this, other attributes of TOK include:

A Multi-Blockchain Asset Supporter

What this says is that TOK is a platform that has the capabilities to serve as a wallet for any listed virtual currency users may decide to store in it. In addition to that, TOK has a trading capability that allows users to directly trade digital assets straight from the account/wallet with minimal security risks and conversion losses.

Mobile Exchange Capabilities

When using TOK, users have the full capabilities to exchange between virtual currencies and fiat currencies by merely using their smartphones and handheld devices. This means that whether users are working or on holiday, they can access their accounts/wallets and make the right deals at any particular time.

Offline Security Functionalities

TOK as an exchange platform is not only convenient, but it also has high-security capabilities that allow users to control how much digital assets they are storing offline. This functionality gives users the surety that their digital assets are safe and secure even when they do not access their digital assets for a long time.

No Trade Fees

Another major attribute of TOK as a platform is that they do not charge extra levy fees for transactions of any kind on their platform.

Thailand Cryptocurrency Exchange, TOK, Listing XRP

As a versatile decentralized chat application developed on Ethereum’s Blockchain, TOK is offering its users with classic attributes of a chat app as well as a user-friendly in-built cryptocurrency wallet.

A couple of days ago, Thailand based crypto exchange, TOK, announced to the world its operations towards listing Ripple’s default cryptocurrency, XRP, onto their platform. Starting November 13, 2018 (till yesterday), users could only deposit and withdraw XRP coinage on the TOK platform. But from today, users can begin trading XRP with BTC pair on the platform.

This move promises to have immense benefits for both entities as Ripple stands to become more popular in Thailand while TOK stands to enter into the league of exchanges trading the popular crypto, XRP.

*This post is credited to Globalcoinreport

Internet retailer Amazon’s filings for two cryptography data-storage solutions have been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Internet retailer Amazon has been awarded two blockchain-related patents. The two patents were originally filed back in 2018 and 2015 as part of a bid to solidify Amazon’s status as a contender in the domain. The patents, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, relate to cryptographic signatures and expandable data grids.

The first of the patents, called Signature Delegation, outlines a method for the protection of digital signatures while delegating signature authority to subordinates authorized to sign on the behalf of a central entity. The delegation of signature authority resembles the “Merkle Tree” structure — a binary data structure that facilitates the efficient verification of a large amount of data and is fundamental to blockchain technology.

The patent filing describes a method in which “the signature authority provides a key-distribution service that distributes blocks of cryptographic keys to authorized signing delegates. An authorized signing delegate contacts the key-distribution service and requests a block of cryptographic keys.”

The second patent, Extending Grids in Data Storage Systems, describes a new method for creating extendable shards in a database. Sharding refers to a type of database partitioning that divides large databases into smaller, faster parts called ‘data shards’ that are more easily managed. Such a method is potentially useful for creating considerable flexible datasets — including the ones seen in a blockchain.

The two patents awarded to Amazon tackle issues with blockchain-enabled distributed data storage that have been previously addressed and leveraged by several blockchain-based data storage startups such as Siacoin, Arweave, and FIlecoin. The patents seem to be developed as an addition to the company’s technological arsenal.

Amazon, which is currently the eighth largest company in the world by annual revenue, has heavily invested in both cloud computing as well as data storage, and has a market share that is roughly triple the size of its main competitor, Microsoft.

In addition to its blockchain, cryptography and distributed data storage-related projects, Amazon has also filed patents related to cryptocurrency-specific solutions. In April, the U.S Patent and Trademark Office approved Amazon’s filing for a data stream marketplace that would allow governments and law enforcers to track Bitcoin users.

*This post is credited to Cryptovest

What is a cryptocurrency index fund? Cryptocurrency index funds are a way for curious investors to gain exposure to crypto assets without having to invest in and hold a particular coin or token. Here’s everything you need to know about this growing trend among investors.

The following article is for educational purposes. It is not investment advice.

What Is a Cryptocurrency Index Fund?

It’s a type of index fund, which is a type of mutual fund, for cryptocurrency investing. In other words, it’s an investment portfolio designed to provide a wide market overview at a low cost. This translates to passive investment for long-term gains, not day trading.

Different Types of Funds

Active vs Passive Management
There are two types of cryptocurrency index funds: active or passive. Active ones actively trade cryptocurrencies while passive ones hold, or hodl, certain coins and tokens on your behalf.

Those that List all vs Select Cryptocurrencies 
Most cryptocurrency index funds only invest in the highest market cap coins and tokens, though some capture the whole market. The way they choose tokens differs, too. For example, how do they take market cap, liquidity and price into account?

Manual vs Automated
Some cryptocurrency index funds have the option to manually select and weigh each cryptocurrency. Others will create a basket of coins and tokens on your behalf based on your desired returns and their predictions.

Advantages

Reduced Risk
Cryptocurrency index funds diversify investors’ portfolios. Holding different coins vs tokens minimizes investors’ exposure to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.

The logic is virtually identical to that behind the use of mutual funds. Like investing in a single company, investing in a single coin increases risk. Conversely, investing in diverse assets spreads that risk around.

Simplified Cryptocurrency Investing
Investing smartly in the dynamic crypto space requires constant attention to the market and research. Storing assets securely in hot vs cold wallets, on or off exchanges, and tracking their performance is also time-intensive.

Cryptocurrency index funds handle this much of this overhead so investors do not have to.

More Predictable Performance
Like any asset pool, they’re specialized for tracking the performance of the market and reallocating investments to maximize portfolio returns. Instead of relying on the time and resources of one person, they are an organization presumably with a staff and algorithms that track market data.

Fewer Trading Fees
Though they have their own fees, the larger and more active your trading portfolio, the more economical a professional service could be. Though it may not matter for infrequent investments, how Coinbase makes money comes down to their significant fees.

Disadvantages

Unique cryptocurrency index funds will have disadvantages depending on your investment strategy. For example, some may prioritize liquidity over long-term gains.

Lack of Liquidity
Though cryptocurrency index funds differ when it comes to liquidity, a common criticism is that withdrawing funds isn’t that easy. In some cases, investors have to invest in a token, which represents part of the pool. Therefore, converting those gains back into USD takes another step.

Price 
They have different levels of management, but this can come with fees. For example, Bitwise charges 2.5% in annual management fees, which can be a lot depending on the size of your portfolio. Of course, pools with less management have lower fees. Again, for frequent and high volume traders, it might be a more affordable option.

Barrier to Entry  
Cryptocurrency index funds are only available to accredited investors. This means someone who is legally allowed to buy and trade securities, per SEC regulations. Specifically, an accredited investor has made over $200,000 in the past 2 years or has a net worth of over $1 million.

Additionally, you have to invest a significant amount of capital to join a fund. For example, Coinbase Index Fund has a minimum investment of $250,000.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and these funds are different. ETFs work on the stock exchange and trade during the day. According to SEC announcement, ETFs provide more liquidity. Additionally, they typically have a lower barrier to entry than cryptocurrency index funds, or any type of mutual fund.

Conversely, index funds require less management on an investor’s part day-to-day.

Best Cryptocurrency Index Funds

The following asset managers are the current industry leaders. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Bitwise Asset Management

Founded in 2017, Bitwise was the first cryptocurrency index fund. Bitwise holds the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their 5-year diluted market cap, according to their SEC filing. The company readjusts the fund’s holdings monthly and claims it stores all assets in 100% cold storage, meaning they’re offline.

Historically, the Bitwise cryptocurrency index fund has outperformed Bitcoin alone.

Bitwise is technically an asset management service. It has several cryptocurrency pools within it. These include:

  • 10 Private Index Fund
  • 10 Index Offshore Fund
  • Digital Asset Index Fund

Coinbase Index Fund

Coinbase launched their own cryptocurrency index fund in 2018. Unlike Coinbase the wallet and exchange, it’s only available for accredited investors and requires a minimum investment of $250,000. It has a 1% management fee.

According to their own calculations, the Coinbase index has performed better than Bitcoin price since they launched the company in 2015. It includes:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)

Iconomi

Iconomi is a fund without a barrier to entry. In other words, anyone can invest through their platform in a variety of coins and tokens. Unlike Coinbase, which focuses on a limited number of high market cap coins, Iconomi includes utility tokens and lesser-known digital assets.

Investors can select between low, medium and high risk.

Institutional Investment in Crypto

Index funds are bringing traditional approaches to investment into cryptocurrency. This means paying a management fee for a company to create a coin and token portfolio.

Investors can specify risk level and what types of cryptocurrency they’re most interested in. Do they prefer high market cap coins or security tokens? And how much do they want to customize their portfolio?

Overall, they’re for professional investors—which typically means accredited investors and people who would otherwise pay a lot in cryptocurrency transaction fees.

*This post is credited to Blocklr