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Another ETF Vet Joins Cryptocurrency Firm

Bitwise Asset Management has hired John Hyland as global head of exchange-traded products.

The asset management firm that claims to have launched the world’s first cryptocurrency index fund has brought on a new head of exchange-traded products — a step toward developing crypto ETFs.

Bitwise Asset Management announced Monday that it had hired John Hyland, the former chief investment officer of United States Commodity Funds, an ETF firm which managed more than $7 billion at its peak under Hyland.

Hyland joins two other recent additions from the ETF world: Bitwise’s head of research Matt Hougan, former chief executive of ETF.com, and chief operating officer Teddy Fusaro, an alum of Direxion and IndexIQ.

[II Deep Dive: This Firm Wants To Bogle-Ize Cryptocurrencies]

In the statement announcing his hire, Hyland called his new colleagues a “crypto ETF ‘dream team.’” Although the firm has not yet launched any exchange-traded products, Bitwise chief executive Hunter Horsley said Hyland’s hire was a step in that direction.

“Though [exchange-traded products] haven’t been possible in the space so far in the U.S., John has deep experience in working with regulators and partners to introduce first-of-a-kind ETFs,” he said in the statement.

Under Hyland’s leadership, United States Commodity Funds launched the first ETFs targeting crude oil, natural gas, and copper, according to the Bitwise announcement. Hyland resigned from the firm in May 2015.

“While regulators still have many questions about the crypto space, I’m excited to work with the team at Bitwise and our partners in the ETF ecosystem to productively engage in that dialogue,” Hyland said in the statement.

Bitwise’s cryptocurrency index fund, a market-cap-weighted fund of the ten largest electronic currencies, was up 32.3 percent for year through May 13, after fees. 

The index fund has 500 limited partners, mostly family officers and registered investment advisers, according to a March interview between Hougan and Institutional Investor.

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