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3iQ anticipates that 2022 will see continued growth for bitcoin and ether as they continue to trickle into mainstream adoption.
As we look back on 2021, I think we can all agree that it was a pivotal year for digital assets: the market value of bitcoin and ether hit all-time highs, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) did more than $23 billion USD in trading volume (and became Collins Dictionary’s word of the year for 2021), and an increasing number of institutional and retail investors are getting interested (and investing) in blockchain-based applications.
It has been a thrilling year for 3iQ Corp. (3iQ) as we surpassed over $3 billion USD in assets under management across our closed-end funds (CEFs) and exchange traded funds (ETFs). The company is now the largest digital asset fund manager in Canada, managing five separate products which hold real cryptoassets such as bitcoin and ether.
We kicked off the year with the launch of the 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF in March and the 3iQ CoinShares Ether ETF in April. 3iQ was the first Canadian investment fund manager to offer a public bitcoin investment fund and a public ether investment fund, both in 2020—and the launch of the ETFs in 2021 was another great milestone in our mission to offer investors exposure to digital currencies within regulated funds. We continue to be delighted with the demand for our ETFs (and their performance) since they launched.
In addition to the fund launches, 2021 also saw 3iQ initiate the first phase of its international expansion plans, starting with the Middle East. We cross-listed The Bitcoin Fund on Nasdaq Dubai in June 2021—the first exchange listed digital asset investment fund in MENA. It was a great thrill and honour to ring the opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai to celebrate this historic moment!
We’re not stopping there — we have plans to release new products in the Middle East throughout 2022. 3iQ has additional plans to launch in other jurisdictions– our vision is for our funds and ETFs to trade 24/7, much like the cryptoassets in which the funds invest.
The growth and expansion of 2021 has also been seen in the size of our company. 3iQ now employs over 40 employees across the globe. This is a significant change from the handful of employees in the firm the previous year. We’ve added to our team to propel us forward faster, with more focus and a continued fearless approach to innovation.
While 2021 was already an optimistic year for cryptoasset returns in general, we continue to be incredibly optimistic for both 3iQ and global cryptoasset investors for the coming year. 3iQ anticipates that 2022 will see continued growth for bitcoin and ether as they continue to trickle into mainstream adoption around the “true ownership” narrative of Web 3.0. In addition, we expect to see further institutional adoption of bitcoin as an alternative store of value or inflation hedge for those looking to boost their investment returns in 2022.
Beyond coins, we anticipate that 2022 will set the stage for continued growth and expansion for DeFi (decentralised finance), DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations), and NFT initiatives. Last year was a breakthrough moment–moving forward, the world will continue to welcome the powerful applications which have been made possible by technological breakthroughs in the blockchain technologies.
Global investment strategies are evolving: institutions are looking for something beyond plain vanilla beta strategies. In a world with high inflation and low or negative real interest rates, institutions are actively exploring strategies that can produce steady and high real returns. We believe 3iQ is well-suited to respond to these strategies as a big area of focus is to build structured products to suit various risk budgets.
Cryptocurrency as an asset class is unprecedented in a few ways: strong beta momentum in bull and bear markets, high volatility, plus the ready availability of financial instruments including futures and options. 3iQ is focused on utilising cryptocurrencies’ unique characteristics to build products with a variety of risk and return profiles that can potentially fit in any portfolio in any market conditions, ranging from low-risk arbitrage strategies to high return derivatives strategies.
As Canada’s largest digital asset fund manager, 3iQ will continue to expand its product offerings and will push innovations with its existing suite of ETFs and CEFs. We envision ourselves as the enablers to continue building bridges between traditional finance and the new cryptoasset economy and you can expect to see 3iQ continue to lead in this space — into 2022 and beyond.
The writer is Chairman and CEO of 3iQ Corp. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy.