Hashdex debuts first crypto ETF

The firm's CEO, Marcelo Sampaio, discusses plans for a crypto spot product and its incremental approach

Tecnología March 17
Kimberly Rodriguez Medina

Hashdex celebrated six months of U.S. operations by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate the success of its $DEFI Bitcoin futures fund, the first crypto ETF approved under the Securities Act of 1933. Although the company has an "ultimate goal" of having the first crypto spot product, its CEO Marcelo Sampaio said getting there will be "incremental."

In an interview on the exchange, Sampaio explained that while it is difficult to set a time frame for the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF, he believes it will be approved during the tenure of Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the meantime, the firm is working with regulators to bring about incremental changes.

Sampaio also referred to Grayscale, a competitor of Hashdex, who faced the SEC in court last week after the agency rejected a bid to convert Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot ETF. "We work with the regulators. We don't sue them," Sampaio said.

"We're losing money by having this ETF, a lot of money. But we're doing it because we know it's the future," said Michael Venuto, CIO and co-founder of Tidal Financial Group, which works as an infrastructure partner for Rio de Janeiro-based Hashdex.

Hashdex yes, Grayscale no

Grayscale has been facing significant hurdles in its attempts to launch its own Bitcoin Spot ETF, with the SEC repeatedly rejecting its applications to issue the ETF. After attempting to launch the product since 2021, Grayscale has decided to take legal action against the SEC.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals will hear arguments from both sides on March 7 to determine whether the SEC has sufficient grounds to continue to deny Grayscale's application. The lack of cryptocurrency regulation in the U.S. makes it difficult to launch such products. However, Grayscale seems determined and has the support of its community, which is eagerly awaiting the ETF issuance.

The first ETF 

Although the Hashdex ETF was approved under the Securities Act of 1933, many saw its approval as a change that came from regulators. Hashdex said it is betting on incremental changes, though it takes time to get there.

Venuto added that Bitcoin has proven resilient during the crisis and that cryptomarkets have reacted well to the recent collapses of Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. "Bitcoin has had a massive rally because it is a better alternative. It's just not a perfect alternative yet. It has to go through stages of development," Venuto said.