CoinDesk Indices, a sister firm of the crypto publication, introduced the CoinDesk 20 Index on Wednesday to provide a broad financial benchmark like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average, but for the digital asset industry.
The CoinDesk 20 Index tracks the world’s largest and most liquid cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, which has a 31% weighting, and Ether, with a 23% weighting. The other top holdings by weight are Solana (11%), XRP (8%), Cardano (5%) and Avalanche (3%). The index doesn’t include stablecoins.
CoinDesk, formerly a child of beleaguered venture capital fund Digital Currency Group, was purchased last November by Bullish, a crypto exchange run by former NYSE President Tom Farley. Bullish is offering investable products based on the CoinDesk 20. Perpetual futures contracts, which are financial agreements that let a buyer bet on the price of a digital currency without an end date, topped $1 million in trading volume within hours of their launch on Wednesday, according to CoinDesk.
“Coindesk 20 leverages the new relationship with Bullish who will offer derivatives on the index,” Mark Connors, head of research at Canadian digital asset management firm 3iQ, noted in an email to Unchained. “The index appears to be constructed with this in mind given the primacy on liquidity over market cap. Although related, the focus on liquidity is clear and may attract traders looking for a low-cost market hedge.”
The CoinDesk 20 isn’t the first crypto index. Notable existing indices include the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which tracks the performance of the largest cryptocurrencies traded in the U.S., and the Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index, which measures the top assets by market capitalization. TradFi giant S&P Global also offers the Cryptocurrency Broad Digital Market Index and Bitcoin and Ethereum-specific indices.
Crypto indexes offer traditional investors a familiar way to potentially purchase crypto assets. The collision of TradFi and crypto has grabbed headlines in recent months as the spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) made it through regulatory approval and to market, where the 11 funds had $4.6 billion in trading volume on their first day.