21Shares: how the platform works for investing in crypto
The Cryptonomist interviewed Massimo Siano, Managing Director Southern Europe at 21Shares.
How does 21Shares work for people who want to invest in crypto?
The mission of 21Shares is to build gateways to the world of crypto-currencies, in order to make this class of assets accessible to the greatest number of investors, through the development of dedicated ETPs, because they are regulated, simple and safe. Moreover, these do not bring with them a whole series of additional problems that would rather be faced in the case of direct ownership of cryptocurrencies (cybersecurity, custody, etc.).
Additionally, the infrastructure can often be cumbersome and misunderstood when it comes to investing or trading directly. As a commonly used tool, as well as a familiar medium to most given its origins in traditional finance, 21Shares ETPs can meet the needs of retail and institutional investors worldwide. while adhering to area-specific regulations. . Currently, our products are available on 12 platforms, including SIX, Xetra and Euronext, so potentially anyone has the opportunity to invest in them; all they have to do is contact a bank or broker they trust that has access to one of these sites.
Will we be able to get an ETF after all the SEC rejections?
Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball, but we can certainly say that at 21Shares we will continue to work with regulators to find solutions that will benefit our clients and investors in general. In particular, we want the SEC and all other government agencies, US and otherwise, to understand that an individual’s actions and mismanagement are not representative of the entire market, pointing out that access to digital assets must be regulated.
What do you think of the future of crypto? What about blockchain?
Although cryptocurrencies are currently going through a complicated phase, we have always been and always will be convinced that crypto, blockchain technology, and all of decentralized finance is too big a revolution to go away. Also, although we are in a “crypto winter”, it should never be forgotten that it is at times like these that the digital asset market has seen very significant leaps forward in terms of innovation.
Take for example Bitcoin itself, which was born with the 2008 crisis, or the use cases of Challenge and NFT, whose infrastructure was developed at times of market contraction. I think now is the time to push innovation, not to panic, so that the industry is populated with a number of new products such as our ETPs for when old and new investors are ready to come in or to re-enter this market.
For example, last June we launched our Crypto Winter Suite, a range of products particularly suited to bearish periods.
At its core, investors can find two ETPs, on Ethereum and Bitcoin respectively (CETH and CBTC), which are the cheapest in the world for their class, with a TER of 0.21%.
What do you think of FTX’s collapse?
First of all, it is important to clarify that 21Shares has no direct exposure to FTX. That said, we understand the repercussions its collapse has for the entire crypto universe; first and foremost in terms of asset impairment, but also in many other segments.
Among these, it is essential to mention institutional investors, who, even if they have been able to witness the demonstration that the collapse of a platform does not imply the failure of decentralized protocols or blockchain technology, will be reluctant to invest or enter the sector in the coming month.
However, the area that we believe is most uncertain is that of regulation. Indeed, Bankman-Fried had publicly lobbied Washington, releasing its DCCPA, a rulebook outlining the standards the cryptocurrency market should meet in order to create more clarity and protect investors pending current federal regulation. . the Bankruptcy of FTX represents the tombstone of this regulation, but unfortunately we still do not know how it will be replaced.
For now, we can only hope that the authorities will finally adopt clear guidelines that do not punish DeFi for the mistakes of centralized finance. In this regard, one of the few positive aspects that can come out of this affair is the increased use of “Proof of Reserve” programs, which attest to a sufficient amount of reserves and in line with the balance sheets, like what Binance, Crypto.com, OKX and other centralized platforms have already done.
At 21Shares, since the company was founded, we too have published our financial data and our audits, in part because of the regulations of the countries where we operate.
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