MSCI Explores Launching Crypto Asset Indices

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In Brief
  • Global securities index publisher MSCI is considering offering indices based on cryptocurrency assets.

  • The interest in crypto assets is part of MSCI’s efforts to expand its offerings.

  • Other financial institutions have also launched crypto indices including the S&P, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq.

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Global securities index publisher MSCI is considering offering indices based on cryptocurrency assets.

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Earlier this week, MSCI CEO Henry Fernandez said MSCI has been talking to experts about the prospect of launching crypto indices. However, apart from this remark, he gave no details about a timeline, or which assets these indices would focus on. Fernandez’s comments came during a Clubhouse event organized by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. 

MSCI expansion

Fernandez spoke about the potential crypto indices in the context of MSCI looking to expand its offerings. During the Clubhouse event, Fernandez said that private credit and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) seemed appealing to the company.

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In a recent expansion of its offerings, MSCI launched 20 thematic indexes on “megatrends” in China in April to help investors guide their capital into projects that align with the Chinese government’s policy goals.

Overall, MSCI publishes popular indexes for global equities and other securities. These helped asset managers and investors allocate $14.5 trillion in assets globally by the end of last year. Due to this influence, inclusion in MSCI indices tends to provide significant exposure for more investment.

Other crypto indices

Meanwhile, other financial institutions have also started offering indices based on crypto assets. For instance, the S&P Dow Jones Indices unveiled new cryptocurrency indexes in May. This brought bitcoin and ethereum to the trading floors of Wall Street. The new indices include S&P Bitcoin Index, S&P Ethereum Index and S&P Crypto Mega Cap Index. All three measure the performance of digital assets tied to them.

Additionally, in partnership with Hashdex, the Nasdaq launched the Nasdaq Crypto Index Fund.The exchange-traded fund (ETF) debuted on April 26, on Brazil’s B3 exchange under the ticker symbol HASH11, with 615 million reais. The ETF tracks the Nasdaq Crypto Index (NCI), co-developed with Nasdaq, to represent the institutionally investable crypto asset market. Nasdaq launched the NCI in December 2020.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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