The “September effect” of declining equity market performance did not carry over to crypto, as the Nasdaq Crypto Index rose 2.4% during the month. Whether or not crypto assets experience another “Uptober” this month remains unclear, but the fourth quarter is off to a strong start.
Low volatility for crypto assets and high uncertainty in the economic outlook were two key themes in recent weeks. Our Research Team wrote about the link between bitcoin’s volatility and outsized returns while Head of Product Dramane Meite covered five ways crypto is benefiting from this environment.
Ether futures ETFs began trading this week in the US, another signal of a slowly improving US regulatory environment for crypto. In his Notes from the CIO, Samir Kerbage uncovers why he’s never been more bullish on Ethereum, while Research Analyst Lucas Santana evaluated the impact of The Merge, one year later.
As always, our team is here to answer any questions you have about these markets.
- Your Partners at Hashdex
The “September effect” in equity markets goes back many decades and 2023 was no exception. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 recorded declines of around 5%, making September the worst month of 2023 so far for both indices. Factors contributing to this decline include the rise in oil prices, which is putting pressure on inflation, and the increase in future interest rates.
However, in the crypto asset market, September was a month of gains. The Nasdaq Crypto Index (NCI) rose 2.4%, breaking the sequence of declines in July and August. The month was characterized by low volatility, reflecting the absence of news significant enough to affect prices. The main exception was the news that assets that belonged to FTX could be sold in the markets. The fear that such an event could crash prices became a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially for lower-market-cap cryptos. The NCI fell nearly 5% on the 11th, but fears dissipated in the following days.
Among NCI constituents, the two largest ones, Bitcoin and Ethereum, saw increases of 2.8% and 1.1%, respectively. However, the highlight was Chainlink, which surged more than 38%. An important factor contributing to this result was the announcement of a partnership with the Swift network, used by financial institutions worldwide for executing financial transactions.
The Vinter Hashdex Risk Parity Momentum Index had a slightly higher increase than the NCI, thanks to Tron, the asset with the highest weight, which rose by 16.0%. Among the sectoral indices of CF Benchmarks, the best result came from DeFi, which saw a 10.0% increase, primarily driven by Maker (32.7%). The Smart Contracts and Digital Culture indices yielded returns of 0.7% and -4.0%, respectively.
Although 2.4% is not a substantial increase, it was significant given the context of traditional asset markets. As a side note, historically, October is a month of good returns for crypto assets, earning the nickname “Uptober.” We are optimistic about October and the fourth quarter, and our conviction for this asset class over the long term remains strong.
US lawmakers to Chair Gensler: approve spot bitcoin ETF ‘immediately’
SEC Chair Gary Gensler faced criticism from lawmakers on the classification of crypto assets, bitcoin ETFs, and his transparency with Congress in relation to his interactions with the crypto exchange FTX. As pressure mounts on the SEC, it’s becoming more clear that a spot crypto ETF in the US is only a matter of “when” not “if.”
PayPal rolls out its stablecoin to Venmo users
The company revealed its exciting plans to introduce the PayPal USD (PYUSD) stablecoin to Venmo in “the coming weeks,” allowing tens of millions of users access to the stablecoin for payments.
Franklin Templeton joins spot bitcoin ETF race
Franklin Templeton, one of the world’s largest asset managers, is following other leading institutions aiming to attract substantial institutional investment and potentially inject trillions into the crypto market. This news reassures our view that institutional adoption continues at full steam.
Deutsche Bank gets into crypto custody, tokenization
Deutsche Bank has announced a strategic collaboration with Taurus, a Swiss digital asset infrastructure provider, to create a solution for crypto custody and tokenization. The company joins other traditional financial institutions like Standard Chartered, BNY Mellon, and Société Générale, all of which have already ventured into offering crypto custody.
G20 moves forward with international crypto framework
The leaders of the 20 biggest economies in the world are moving forward to implement a cross-border framework for crypto assets, another sign of the current effort by policymakers worldwide to establish clear regulatory standards for digital assets.
This material expresses Hashdex Asset Management Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Hashdex”)'s opinion for informational purposes only and does not consider the investment objectives, financial situation or individual needs of one or a particular group of investors. We recommend consulting specialized professionals for investment decisions. Investors are advised to carefully read the prospectus or regulations before investing their funds. The information and conclusions contained in this material may be changed at any time, without prior notice. Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer, solicitation or recommendation regarding any investment management product or service. This information is not directed at or intended for distribution to or use by any person or entity located in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to applicable law or regulation or which would subject Hashdex to any registration or licensing requirements within such jurisdiction. No part of this material may be (i) copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or (ii) redistributed without the prior written consent of Hashdex. By receiving or reviewing this material, you agree that this material is confidential intellectual property of Hashdex and that you will not directly or indirectly copy, modify, recast, publish or redistribute this material and the information therein, in whole or in part, or otherwise make any commercial use of this material without Hashdex’s prior written consent.
Investment in any investment vehicle and cryptoassets is highly speculative and is not intended as a complete investment program. It is designed only for sophisticated persons who can bear the economic risk of the loss of their entire investment and who have limited need for liquidity in their investment. There can be no assurance that the investment vehicles will achieve its investment objective or return any capital. No guarantee or representation is made that Hashdex’s investment strategy, including, without limitation, its business and investment objectives, diversification strategies or risk monitoring goals, will be successful, and investment results may vary substantially over time. Nothing herein is intended to imply that the Hashdex s investment methodology or that investing any of the protocols or tokens listed in the Information may be considered “conservative,” “safe,” “risk free,” or “risk averse.”
Certain information contained herein (including financial information) has been obtained from published and non-published sources. Such information has not been independently verified by Hashdex, and Hashdex does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of such information. Hashdex does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “intend,” “continue” “believe” (or the negatives thereof) or other variations thereof. Due to various risks and uncertainties, including those discussed above, actual events or results, the ultimate business or activities of Hashdex and its investment vehicles or the actual performance of Hashdex, its investment vehicles, or digital tokens may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. As a result, investors should not rely on such forward- looking statements in making their investment decisions. None of the information contained herein has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or any other governmental or self-regulatory authority. No governmental authority has opined on the merits of Hashdex’s investment vehicles or the adequacy of the information contained herein.
Nasdaq®, Nasdaq Crypto IndexTM, NCITM, Nasdaq Crypto Index EuropeTM, NCIETM are registered trademarks of Nasdaq, Inc. (which with its affiliates is referred to as the “Corporations”) and are licensed for use by Hashdex Asset Management Ltd. The Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index Europe ETP (the Product) have not been passed on by the Corporations as to their legality or suitability. The Product is not issued, endorsed, sold, or promoted by the Corporations. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND BEAR NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE PRODUCT.