Crypto Dominates the Worst ETF Debuts: Report

Many crypto exchange-traded funds started during the last bull market and enjoyed an initial boom before crashing months later when valuations tanked.

AccessTimeIconOct 28, 2022 at 8:53 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:00 a.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETF) account for five of the worst seven debuts in ETF history, according to Morningstar Direct data, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The five funds were all linked to the performance of crypto or blockchain. The worst performer was France-based Melanion BTC Equities Universe fund, which invests in companies such as bitcoin miners Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT). The fund, which launched October 2021, has seen its value slide 76.9% in the past 12 months.

Many ETFs started during the heady days of the last crypto bull market, enjoying an initial boom at the end of 2021 before crashing as valuations tanked this year.

Morningstar's data however suggests that a poor first year does not condemn ETFs in the long-term. The SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 Growth ETF (SPYG), a non-crypto fund that tracks the S&P 500 Growth Total Return Index, fell by 52.8% in 2000-2001. It has since recovered and is now a $12.2 billion fund, the FT said.

"The people that I speak to who invest in bitcoin are still reliably bullish because the potential use cases haven't changed," said Kenneth Lamont, a senior fund analyst at Morningstar. "A lot of those involved in the industry have just regathered themselves for the next bull run."


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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