Second, Jan Van Eck is the Chief Executive Officer of Van Eck Associates Corporation. He has created a variety of international, emerging markets, and commodity-related investment strategies in mutual funds, ETFs, and alternative investment formats. He is certainly an example of a first mover in the ETF space that demonstrates a lot of interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Van Eck has focused on creating institutional quality indexes of crypto-assets and recently refiled for a Bitcoin ETF that would list at $200,000 per share. Another boundary being tested
Third on our list is Matt Hougan. CNBC once called him, “The Master of All Things ETF.” Only a few months ago though, Matt left his position as CEO of Inside ETFs to join a small startup called Bitwise Asset Management, which created the world’s first cryptocurrency index fund. He is now Bitwise’s Global Head of Research. Matt is still involved with ETFs, but has shifted his focus to crypto. Matt said, “The potential for crypto to both improve the world and improve investor portfolios is tremendous. It’s exciting to get in on the ground floor of another generationally-important financial innovation.” He was recently featured on the Exponential Podcast discussing this transition: https://exponentialetfs.com/podcast/. We are eager to see how Bitwise grows and evolves with Matt’s research and vision.
Another new Bitwise employee, John Hyland, is our next candidate for ETF Nerd now Blockchain Brainiac. Hyland joins the firm as its new global head of exchange-traded products. He is well-known for spearheading the launch of the first crude oil ETF, the first natural gas ETF, the first copper ETF, and one of the most innovative commodity basket funds in the world, the United States Commodity Index Fund. Working with crypto should be a no-brainer for John.
All four of these individuals represent financial innovators that saw the potential of the ETF industry early on, and now believe they see equal opportunity with blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies. That said, despite the “brain drain” of innovators shifting focus, the advent of blockchain technology presents many shorter-term opportunities for ETF growth. But, in the long-term will the ETF structure, as we know it, be changed or possibly consumed by the blockchain technology. Time will tell.
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