The Evolution of Crypto:
From Novelty to an Asset Class

The Rise of Crypto Assets

When Bitcoin emerged in 2008, it only had the support of a handful of enthusiasts. But its steady march toward legitimacy paved the way for further development of blockchain technology and the birth of numerous other cryptocurrencies. With more widespread acceptance and adoption, cryptocurrencies have proven to be more than a passing trend. They are now a legitimate asset class within certain investment portfolios.

Crypto assets may not be an appropriate or prudent diversifier for all portfolios. From bitcoin to ether, digital currencies as a whole are complex and unpredictable, exhibit extreme price volatility and can become illiquid at any time. They should be viewed as highly speculative and may result in an entire loss of investment, so please consult your own financial advisor, lawyer, accountant or other advisor before making any financial decision.

While the demand is evident, many investors, particularly institutional ones, face difficulties in successfully accessing the product and bridging the gap between the underlying decentralized online blockchain technology and traditional investment structures.

A History of Crypto

Despite interest in Bitcoin growing in recent years, cryptocurrencies have actually been around for quite a while.

Bitcoin was the first of these cryptocurrencies to be created—more than 10 years ago now. Ethereum followed in 2015.

The timeline below shows many of the key events and milestones that have taken place during the creation and evolution of Bitcoin and Ethereum.


Source for Bitcoin Price: WisdomTree (from January 3, 2009, when Bitcoin went live until June 12, 2015) and Coinbase (June 13, 2015, onward). Source for Ethereum Price: Coinbase.

Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Tap the Potential of Bitcoin Futures with GCC and WTMF

Though neither invests directly in bitcoin, GCC and WTMF are among the first U.S. ETFs to offer bitcoin futures exposure. The WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund (GCC) uses an actively managed approach and may invest up to 5% of its net assets in bitcoin futures. So investors seeking a broad-based commodities strategy can leverage this maturing asset class. By contrast, the WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy Fund (WTMF) uses a quantitative, rules-based approach. It seeks to deliver positive total returns in rising or falling markets through a range of futures contracts that include commodities, equities, currencies and interest rates and now invests up to 5% of its net assets in bitcoin futures contracts.


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WisdomTree Digital Asset Taxonomy

Providing a framework for the complex crypto ecosystem, the digital asset taxonomy breaks down the eight distinct categories to help you begin your own due diligence process to better understand each crypto asset.

Read the Digital Asset Taxonomy

Digital Assets Taxonomy

Commentaries from Our Thought Leaders

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Additional Crypto Informational Resources

For Advisors Only