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ETF Giant WisdomTree Plans to Launch a Stablecoin

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

There are new developments coming from the New York-based international investment giant WisdomTree Investments, as it now plans to launch a stablecoin, and it wants to do so ahead of the competition.

Jonathan Steinberg, CEO of WisdomTree. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, WisdomTree ETFs

It’s a busy period for WisdomTree as the news is out that they plan to issue their own regulated digital token. Financial News reports that the company wants the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve and regulate their new product. It’s not clear, however, whether any talks with the U.S. financial watchdog have started, nor have any additional information about the alleged upcoming stablecoin been provided. We have contacted WisdomTree and will update the article should there be a response.

Additionally, it seems that the ETF (exchange-traded funds) and ETP (exchange-traded product) sponsor wants to be the first one among the giants to offer this product. “You want to be early,” Jonathan Steinberg, founder and chief executive officer of WisdomTree, is quoted as saying in the article. “We came to ETFs 13 years after State Street. This gives us an opportunity to be ahead of the State Streets, Fidelitys, on regulated stablecoins.”

Among the competitors, State Street is a custodian bank that partnered with crypto exchange Gemini on a digital assets-reporting project, while fund manager Fidelity Investments has been also active in the crypto space. Fidelity rolled out its much-anticipated crypto custody solution in October last year, created a tokenized rewards system for its employees with security token expert Tokensoft in November, and it announced it’s set to expand into Europe with a new UK-based branch in December. A spokesperson for Fidelity is quoted in Financial News as saying that the company “welcomes continued innovation in the digital assets space.”

Furthermore, William Peck, WisdomTree’s director of corporate strategy, said that via the stablecoin project, the company wants to enable access to traditional assets like gold or property over the blockchain. Steinberg was quoted as saying that, by allowing for an easier trade in assets, the project could give the company “a Facebook-like role for financial institutions.”

Facebook, on the other hand, has been trying to push through its Libra digital coin since its announcement last June but has led an ongoing battles with regulators, resulting in several backers backing out, such as MasterCard and Visa. The SEC is also notorious for rejecting or postponing then rejecting ETF proposals.

Meanwhile, as reported, WisdomTree launched its first cryptocurrency product in December 2019 – a physically-backed Bitcoin ETP, the WisdomTree Bitcoin ETP (BTCW), which is listed on SIX, the Swiss Stock Exchange.

Following that, in January 2020, the company, which has USD 63.8 billion in assets under management, joined Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and other investors in financing Securrency, a Washington-headquartered developer of institutional-grade blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology. The goal of the investment is the integration of blockchain technology into the ETF ecosystem.