Online cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase wants to launch an index fund for digital currencies.
The intention is to create a “very simple” and easy to access way to trade a weighted basket of cryptocurrencies.
It will be available to accredited US based investors and it will be a proxy to all the assets on the Coinbase GDAX exchange including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ethereum.
“Index funds have changed the way that many people think about investing,” Coinbase said in a statement.
“By providing diversified exposure to a broad range of assets, index funds enable investors to track the performance of an entire asset class, rather than having to select individual assets.
“We’re excited to give our customers the ability to invest in the potential of blockchain-based digital assets as a whole.”
Whilst the exchange is allowing investors to add their names to a list for early access, it stated the Coinbase Index (which the fund will be based upon) stood at 4,842 on Wednesday.
The news comes on the day Bitcoin, the largest crypto, fell below the key US$10,000 level (though it is now at US$1,048, down 0.7%) after the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will require digital asset exchanges to register with the agency.
In a statement, the Federal agency said: "The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not.
"Many platforms refer to themselves as "exchanges," which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange."
The statement heightened fears in cryptoworld on tightening regulation and restrictions on trading.
"If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an 'exchange,' as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration."
Bitcoin is down about 50% from all-time highs near US$20,000 reached in December last year.