Crypto exchange-traded funds/notes/products are perfect for investors looking for a familiar entry point into bitcoins and popular altcoins.
This guide will introduce you to the latest crypto ETFs that allow you to invest in bitcoin/altcoins directly without a bitcoin wallet or crypto exchanges.
List of Crypto ETFs/ETNs/ETPs
|ETF Name||Description||Active Since||Fund Size (in m $)||TER||Fund Domicile||Based On||Returns (2021)||Rating|
|21Shares Ethereum ETP||21Shares is one of the most prolific crypto ETF providers in recent years. The Swiss firm’s Ethereum instrument is one of the older crypto ETFs on the market.
Out of the many bitcoin and altcoin ETFs operated by 21Shares, the Ethereum ETP has shown maximum cumulative returns of 868.69%.
In 2021, the ETF tracked annual returns of 415%. The instrument also comes with a TER of 1.49%, which is not very high.
|21Shares Crypto Basket Index ETP||Instead of tracking single cryptos like bitcoin, this ETP from 21Shares tracks the top 5 coins ranked according to 2050 market cap (based on current prices and projected 2050 supply)
Three cryptos dominate this ETP – Bitcoin (45.25%), Ethereum (20.52), and Polkadot (24.36%). It does carry a high fee compared to other crypto ETFs.
However, since its inception, the Crypto Basket Index ETP has clocked cumulative returns of 568%, with 207% recorded in 2021 alone.
|November 2018||152||2.50%||Switzerland||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos, Cardano||242.05%||4.4|
|WisdomTree Bitcoin||As the name suggests, this is an ETP physically backed by bitcoin professionally secured in “cold storage.”
The “NAV” or daily value of the ETP is calculated by multiplying the per-share entitlement of bitcoin with the established index – CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.
The WisdomTree Bitcoin ETP combines low fees with competitive returns in the crypto ETF scene – 100% in 2021, and 399.65% cumulatively since inception.
|21Shares Bitcoin ETP||The 21Shares version of a bitcoin ETP has followed a nearly identical growth trajectory as the WisdomTree ETP. This is not surprising as both ETFs are backed by physical bitcoin holdings.
The 21Shares instrument does come with marginally higher ETR, with a few percentage points of improvement on the returns.
|BTCetc – ETC Group Physical Bitcoin||ETC Group is at the forefront of the crypto ETFs market, with a total AUM of $1.135 billion.
The BTCetc ETP leads the bitcoin-backed ETF space in terms of annual returns, ahead of similar instruments by 4% in 2021 (103.99%). Cumulative returns are at 397%, but the fees are on the higher side of the spectrum.
|21Shares Tezos ETP||Tezos is one of the smaller altcoins in the crypto market with a market cap of just $5.9 billion.
But it has shown growth potential in the recent past, tripling in value between 2019 -2020. YoY performance in 2021 has also been stellar, with a 243% growth.
The 21Shares ETP on this altcoin is an interesting option with current annual returns pegged at 275%.
|21Shares Bitcoin Cash ETP||Created by a fork in the original bitcoin in 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCC) is an altcoin with a market cap of around $11 billion in 2021.
The 21Shares ETP has displayed modest growth of 78.74% in 2021 returns, and a cumulative increase of 133.27%. For reference, the YoY returns on physical holdings of BCC in 2021 were around 82.6%.
The BCC ETF might be an interesting option for investors looking at crypto ETFs that track altcoins besides the big two (Bitcoin and Ethereum).
|July 2019||12.76||2.50%||Germany||Bitcoin Cash||82.90%||3.5|
|Coinshares Physical Ethereum||One of the younger crypto ETFs on our list, this Ethereum backed instrument from Coinshares gets the nod based on the long terms prospects of ETH.
Also, Coinshares is a pioneer of crypto ETFs, credited with launching the first bitcoin-based instrument on a regulated exchange in 2014.
The Physical Ethereum ETN has registered modest returns of 73% in 3 months and 47% in 6 months. In comparison, the top-ranked ETH instrument from 21Shares clocked 90% and 62% respectively.
|February 2021||193||1.25%||Jersey||Ethereum||86.01% (6 months)||4.0|
|VanEck Vectors Ethereum ETN||Although VanEck Corporation is a reputed ETF provider based in NY, their crypto ETFs are domiciled in Liechtenstein.
The Vectors Ethereum ETN is matched to the performance of the well-established MVETHV Index.
The Vectors ETH instrument is marked by low fees and performance that is so far in line with the best Ethereum ETFs available on the market – 90% returns in 3 months and 60% over 6 months.
|March 2021||90||1.00%||Liechtenstein||Ethereum||83.95% (6 months)||4.2|
|ETHetc – ETC Group Physical Ethereum||The Ethereum ETN from ETC Group is yet another new instrument launched in 2021.
It finds a place on this list due to the relative reliability of ETH over other altcoins, as well as the ETC Group credentials on the crypto ETF market.
Since its inception, the returns on the instrument are well-aligned with market trends, growing 90.40% in over months and 60% across 6 months.
|February 2021||227||1.49%||Germany||Ethereum||79.68% (6 months)||4.1|
The majority of crypto ETF/ETN/ETPs are traded on established European exchanges like the XETRA in Germany, SIX Swiss Exchange in Switzerland, Euronext Paris in France, and Euronext Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They are all funds 100% backed by bitcoin, ether, or other altcoins held in professional “cold storage” and mirroring the performance of major crypto indexes.
This list does NOT include ETFs that provide indirect exposure to bitcoin/altcoins through equities connected to the cryptocurrencies by way of technology or business models.
We selected the top-ranked crypto ETFs based on their age, YoY performance, and comparison of their Total Expense Ratios (TER). The majority of the top crypto ETFs are backed by either bitcoin or Ethereum, which is not surprising since they are the dominant cryptos with an established base and high visibility.
However, newer crypto ETFs backed by altcoins like Cardano, Tezos, and Polkadot are already arriving on the scene. Given the increased risk attached to smaller altcoins given their relative obscurity, and the lack of any ETF performance figures for comparison, we have opted not to consider them in our review process at present.
As the scene matures and altcoin-based ETFs accumulate reliable growth and performance data we will update the ratings to include them. All the same, if you are new to the crypto ETFs market, it might be better to stick with Bitcoin and Ethereum-based instruments for the foreseeable future.
- Bitcoin Investing 101: What is Bitcoin? How Does it Work? How Can You Invest in It?
- Blockchain Investing 101: How to Build Long-Term Wealth in the Digital Asset Markets
- DeFi Investing 101: What Is It? Where Do You Start? What Are the Risks?
To learn more about the basics of investing in bitcoin ETFs, check out our in-depth guide on the process here. And if you find the information provided here helpful, please consider subscribing to the Bitcoin Market Journal for daily blockchain market updates.
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