“We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year,” further stated Mr. Hyland. “Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.”

The Bitwise organization and Bitwise Investment Advisers, LLC, which will act as sponsor of the proposed ETF, combines decades of expertise in ETFs with the experience of having managed private funds in the bitcoin space for over a year. In developing and operating these private funds, Bitwise has addressed the issues of custody, trading, pricing, liquidity, and reporting, each of which the SEC has discussed in recently published guidance stemming from regulatory proceedings. The firm launched the first cryptoasset index fund, the Bitwise 10 Private Index Fund, in 2017, and today offers five private funds focused on the crypto space to institutions, family offices, financial advisors and high-net worth individuals in the U.S. and abroad.

Bitwise’s ETF efforts are spearheaded by Hyland who has extensive background in the ETF space. Hyland was the Chief Investment Officer of United States Commodity Funds, where he led efforts to launch the world’s first crude oil ETF (the United States Oil Fund (USO)), the world’s first natural gas ETF (the United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG)), and groundbreaking commodity index funds, among other products.

Bitwise’s indexing efforts are led by Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research. Hougan is a three-time member of the Barron’s ETF Roundtable and co-author of the CFA Institute’s monograph on ETFs. He is also Chairman of Inside ETFs, creator of the world’s largest ETF conference. He was previously the CEO of ETF.com, where he helped create the world’s first institutionally oriented ETF classification and ratings system.

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