Coinbase to Axe High Net Worth Index Fund, Launch Small Retail ‘Bundle’

According to sources speaking to TheBlock, Coinbase will cease its index fund service, which has failed to attract the amount of institutional investor attention expected by the company.

The index fund, launched only in June to much fanfare, was targeted at high net-worth entities, with a minimum investment at $250,000 and maximum $2 million. The product was only available to entities with a minimum net worth of $1 million, or minimum annual income of $250,000.

This lack of interest is somewhat surprising, as there was “strong demand from institutional and high-net-worth individuals” back in March when the product was first announced- - according to Coinbase project manager Reuben Bramanathan. The fund was only available to accredited U.S. investors, a disappointment to some at time of launch, perhaps explaining some of the tepid reaction.

The closing of the high-net-worth index fund comes shortly after the announcement of a new retail product, Coinbase Bundle, which may indicate a refocus in strategy back to smaller investors. The new “basket product”, announced last month, functions in effect like a mini-index fund, allowing users to buy five market-weighted crypto-assets with one click.

Notably, the minimum cost for this product is a mere $25. Coinbase speculated during the launch that:

We expect that millions of people will make their first cryptocurrency purchase in the coming years

Coinbase in the Bear Market

This possible refocus comes at a time when coinbase trading volume is down 80% since December, 2017 highs, according to Bloomberg, in the wake of the collapse in crypto-asset prices.

Despite the downturn, Coinbase is seeking $500 million worth of new investments, which would put the company’s value an eye-watering $8 billion.

Coinbase has been the go-to cryptocurrency exchange for many new users coming into the industry in the last year, because of its ease of use. Coinbase has been likened to “a 21st-century Wells Fargo for a new digital gold rush”.


Bakkt Launches CFTC-Regulated Bitcoin Options Contracts and Cash-Settled Futures

The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) cryptocurrency venture, Bakkt, has launched Bitcoin options contracts and cash-settled futures contracts that use its physically-settled bitcoin contracts as a benchmark.

In a blog post published by Bakkt’s COO Adam White, Bakkt compared the Intercontinental Exchange’s Brent Crude Oil Futures, which it claims are “one of the most important contracts ICE would ever offer,” to its ambitions regarding bitcoin. The ICE has launched an umber of swaps, options, and futures contracts based on its crude oil product.

Adam White’s blog post reads:

By starting with the physically delivered Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Futures, we have a benchmark contract which provides the foundation for us to develop complementary products based on the needs of our customers.

Bakkt’s initial trading volumes for its physical futures contract were rather low, but have been picking up lately with the monthly futures contracts trading over $120 million so far. Bakkt’s options contract is the first regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to hit the market, with one from the CME expected to be launched next month.

On the post Bakkt noted its monthly options contract will have no exposure to spot markets. Options are derivatives based on the value of an underlying asset that give the contract’s holder the option to buy or sell, depending on the type of contract they hold, the asset.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Malta-based crypto exchange OKEx has also announced it’s going to offer its traders options trading later this month on December 27, with a simulation starting on December 12.

It’s worth noting Bakkt is also looking to launch a crypto “consumer app” next year, with Starbucks being its first partner on it. The app will reportedly help its users buy goods and services using bitcoin.

Featured image via Unsplash.