$17M Funding Round in Startup to Bring Blockchain Tech Into ETFs

Blockchain startup Securrency receives over $17 million in funding as asset manager WisdomTree leads the charge to bring blockchain to ETFs.

As a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) continue to elude U.S. markets, one startup has secured $17 million that seem earmarked to bring blockchain tech to ETFs.

WisdomTree announced investment in a startup called Securrency Inc., one of the top institutional-grade blockchain builders in the financial and regulatory space, per a Jan. 7 press release

An asset manager, ETF and exchange traded-product (ETP) backer, WisdomTree is looking to harness blockchain technology for the ETF market. Following the announced funding round, WisdomTree aims to work with Securrency to expand the availability of ETFs via blockchain technology. 

Garnering $17.65 million in total investments, Securrency received funds from WisdomTree, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Monex Group, Inc. and several others, the release says.  

No crypto ETF yet

ETFs are one method in which mainstream participants can gain exposure to a financial asset, or basket of financial assets. 

Over the past two years, numerous parties, such as VanEck/SolidX and Bitwise, have attempted to launch various crypto ETFs, although none has gotten regulatory approval. 

Using blockchain for ETFs

WisdomTree sees blockchain as an opportunity to enhance the current ETF world and bring ETFs to more users, in line with regulation, the release noted. Securrency adds blockchain expertise to the mix, including areas relating to compliance and identity. 

WisdomTree founder and CEO Jonathan Steinberg said he sees underperformance in terms of current blockchain solutions. Steinberg said in the press release:

“Our investment in Securrency is the result of a multi-year review of blockchain technology and the associated landscape. In our review, we found instances of unnecessary applications of the technology and poor compliance with existing regulations; however, there are numerous elements of blockchain technology that, when correctly applied, will bring benefits to investors.”

Regulators continue to wade through other crypto ETFs at present, as the Securities Exchange Commission is scheduled to decide on Wilson Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF by February, 2020, Cointelegraph reported.