Mar 16, 2023
Crypto ETP-Provider 21Shares to Shutter Funds as Demand Fades
(Bloomberg) -- Crypto exchange-traded products issuer 21Shares is closing down five funds and delisting another, a company spokesperson confirmed, as investor demand cooled for them.
The Zug, Switzerland-based company is shuttering five products: the 21Shares S&P Risk Controlled Bitcoin Index ETP (ticker SPBTC), the 21Shares S&P Risk Controlled Ethereum Index ETP (SPETH), the 21Shares DeFi 10 Infrastructure ETP (DEFII), the 21Shares Crypto Layer 1 ETP (LAY1) and the 21Shares USD Yield ETP (USDY). The last trading day for the ETPs is April 6. The company is also delisting the 21Shares Terra Classic ETP (LUNA), effective June 12. The six funds have total assets of less than $700,000.
According to Arielle Pennington, head of global communications, 21Shares is seeing strong demand for its other ETPs and the company just completed its second-best January ever. During the first month of the year, it saw more inflows than in the same period 2022, she said. Also in January, assets under management for two of its products — the 21Shares Bitcoin ETP (ABTC) and the 21Shares Ethereum ETP (AETH) — crossed the $200 million mark, and 21Shares now has three products with AUM above that threshold. Its first fund, 21Shares Crypto Basket Index ETP (HODL), which will continue trading, has assets of about $100 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Website ETF Stream reported the 21Shares shutdowns earlier Thursday.
Some crypto products have struggled as the Federal Reserve and other central banks raise interest rates to fight inflation. Digital tokens, just like other riskier assets, have sold off in a risk-off environment. On top of that, the industry has been plagued by a number of crypto-specific scandals, including the implosion of once-esteemed companies like exchange FTX.
All of it has pushed investors away, including many retail traders. Although Bitcoin is staging a big rally this year, currently trading slightly below $25,000, the world’s largest digital asset by market value is still far from its high of nearly $69,000 at the end of 2021.
Even before the implosion of FTX, the previous boom in virtual-currency exchange-traded products had been deflating. Launches worldwide had started to dwindle in recent months, and there’s been an uptick in liquidations. Some analysts said they expect more closures in 2023.
Read more: Crypto-Product Pipeline Goes Bust as Survival Questioned
Hany Rashwan co-founded 21Shares with Ophelia Snyder in 2018. The company launched its first physically-backed crypto ETP during that year’s crypto slump and Rashwan has in the past said that downturns can be good times to consolidate, build and innovate.
--With assistance from Sam Potter.
(Updates with firm’s description of its recent performance in the third paragraph.)
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