The excitement surrounding the blockchain technology comes with the astronomical surge in bitcoin price, which soared above $19,000 last month. The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger, which offers a secure, faster and cheaper medium of carrying out online transaction and transfer of information without the need of third-party verification.
Now, investors could easily capitalize on this fast-growing technology with the two blockchain ETFs that go live today. Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF BLCN and Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOK are designed to benefit from the booming blockchain technology. The duo is the first ETF targeting the fast-developing world of the blockchain-based technology (read: How to Invest in the Hottest Technologies With ETFs).
This fund is passively managed and seeks to track the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy Index, a smart-beta benchmark that measures the returns of global companies committing resources for developing, researching, supporting, innovating or utilizing blockchain technology for their proprietary use or for use by others. The index will utilize internal and external research, as well as their proprietary Blockchain Score ranking system.
Per the filing, the index will hold 50 to 100 companies with the highest scores and are weighted based on their scores. Information technology is expected to be the top sector for the index, accounting for about 60% of assets, followed by financials (29%) and consumer discretionary (8%). Companies like Overstock (OSTK - Free Report) , International Business Machines (IBM - Free Report) , Nasdaq (NDAQ - Free Report) and Accenture (ACN - Free Report) will find their entry into the fund’s portfolio (read: Blockchain ETFs: Profit from the Technology Behind Bitcoin).
This is an actively managed ETF providing investors global exposure to a basket of the leading companies engaged in advancing the blockchain-based technology and other distributed ledger technologies. American firms will dominate about 70% of the portfolio while the rest will go to firms in China, Canada and Japan.
Additionally, the top 10 holdings will likely comprise about 45% of the assets with some well-known companies like Citigroup (C - Free Report) , Overstock, IBM, Square (SQ - Free Report) and Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) . This new fund has an expense ratio of 0.70%.
How does it fit in today’s portfolio?
These ETFs could be an intriguing choice for investors seeking to bet on the technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The digital currency was the hottest trade of 2017, having climbed more than 1300% and witnessed wild swings (read: 10 Hottest ETF Themes for 2018).
The strong trend is expected to continue this year as bitcoin is now easily available to individuals and businesses with the launch of futures contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE - Free Report) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME - Free Report) last month. Additionally, rising institutional investor interest and strong demand from Japan added to the frenzy.
While there are some strong critics and fears of bubbles bursting in the digital currency, blockchain technology possesses extraordinary potential to grow in the years to come. This is especially true given the increased adoption of the technology by the largest banking institutions in Asia and the Middle East particularly in payments, as well as cybersecurity firms due to the rise of ransomware attacks.
Investing in blockchain technology will likely generate returns as big as today's FAANG stocks. According to a report from Research and Markets, the global blockchain market is expected to witness a CAGR of 61.5% from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2,312.5 million by 2021. Per Gartner, Blockchain is estimated to have delivered $4 billion in business value-add or technology innovation in 2017, and are expected to reach $21 billion by 2020, $176 billion in 2025, and $3.1 trillion by 2030.
ETF Competition & Bottom Line
Though there aren’t any real competitors to these new products, ETFs offering exposure to the blockchain ecosystem via semiconductor companies that make chips required for bitcoin mining, might pose a threat. The most popular funds include iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX - Free Report) and VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH - Free Report) . Both are soaring on the blockchain craze and have AUM of $1.6 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively (read: 5 ETF Ways to Tap Hot Semiconductor Stocks).
The new funds offer investors a pure play to the blockchain technology that backs cryptocurrencies and has the potential to change the world. The ETFs will no doubt get a first-mover advantage that could help in garnering immense investor interest.
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