The S&P Dow Jones will not be introducing a cryptocurrency index, at least for now, says chief executive officer, Alex Matturri.
He however acknowledges the popularity and growing uptake of digital currencies such as bitcoin. Bloomberg quoted Matturri saying the Dow Jones was taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the introduction of cryptocurrency price indices.
Matturri said the S&P Dow Jones had received requests for it to build a gauge for a cryptocurrency index, much like NYSE-owner ICE has done for its institutional clients. However, the exchange currently has no current plans to offer them on its platforms.
“Not right now. “It’s prudent for us to take a wait-and-see approach,” he said.
He however concedes that “clearly there is demand” for cryptocurrencies and highlights that digital currencies and assets are “something worthwhile to keep an eye” on.
Despite Dow Jones’ keenness to keep an eye on cryptocurrencies and requests for it to introduce a crypto gauge, the US Securities Exchange Commission has a less favourable attitude towards exchange-traded products (ETPs) that are based on baskets of cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, questions remain about the regulatory status of the underlying cryptoassets themselves.
Earlier this month, global valuations of ethereum – the world’s second most popular virtual currency after bitcoin declined by six percent after reports emerged that the cryptocurrency was being scrutinised by regulators over “whether rules designed for stocks should apply to virtual currencies” such as ethereum.
“You don’t want an index that somebody is going to use in a product that either manipulates markets or is easily manipulated. If it’s meant as a tool for gambling, well, go to Macao or Las Vegas. That’s not what investing is about,” Matturri said.
However, according to the S&P Dow Jones chief executive, the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies is alluring owing to its decentralised management attributes. And because of this crypto tenet, it was not conceivable to completely dismiss the possibility of crypto indexes in the future.
“It’s still got a ways to go before it’s kind of in the mainstream, more legitimized. But it could happen quickly. Technology is much more disruptive today than it ever was,” Matturri concluded.
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