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Fresh off a funding round, Swedish crypto index provider Vinter has inked a deal with a digital assets derivatives exchange to provide pricing for its investment products.
Vinter’s single-asset indices are set to serve as the reference rate for D2X’s derivatives, giving institutional investors “clean” exposure, Vinter CEO Jacob Lindberg told Blockworks.
“Volumes in crypto derivatives continue to outperform spot volumes, and there are no indications of this growth slowing down, [so] it’s the perfect timing for a partnership like this,” Lindberg wrote in an email. “Furthermore, partnering with Vinter means D2X will be using crypto indexes that are already well-established and trusted in the European crypto [exchange-traded product] industry.”
Vinter — founded in what the company calls the “crypto winter” of 2019 — offers indices that track the price of assets including bitcoin, ether, cardano, polkadot, binance coin, uniswap, xinfin and tezos.
The company has also rolled out indices with several assets grouped by market capitalization or themes, including decentralized finance (DeFi) coins or tokens issued by centralized exchanges.
D2X said the Vinter deal will aid the exchange’s aims of developing a safe, regulated market infrastructure for derivatives in Europe.
The Amsterdam-based company offers cash-settled digital asset options and futures denominated in euros.
Vinter raised $3.4 million in January to expand its range of crypto asset indexes for ETP and ETF issuers. Octopus Ventures led the seed round.
The cash injection is earmarked for hiring data experts to analyze risks and trends, as well as onboarding developers and technical engineers.
Zihao Xu, Octopus Ventures’ head of fintech, told Blockworks that crypto is due for a shift toward passive products “as demand for regulated exposure to cryptoassets increases” — from benchmark trackers to smart-beta strategies.
“The ability to create flexible products at scale is reliant on a robust index provider, and we believe Vinter is well placed to play that role,” Xu said.
Vinter is looking to introduce niche, customized indices to certain sectors, Lindberg said, including ones “suitable for investors interested in crypto but worried about the energy usage of certain tokens.”
Europe crypto ETFs are hot
Vinter has been in the thick of Europe’s crypto ETP (exchange-traded product) proliferation in recent months. Product launches across the continent have come as the Securities and Exchange Commission has not yet approved ETFs that hold crypto directly.
The security and convenience of crypto exposures through a regulated product is attractive to retail investors and often a necessity for institutional players, issuers told Blockworks.
Vinter is the index provider for Valour, Bytetree Asset Management, Wavebridge and 21Shares. The latter company, the world’s largest issuer of crypto ETPs, partnered with Vinter in September.
It launched an ETP tracking the Vinter 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap Index, which excludes bitcoin and ethereum. 21Shares intends to offer access to what the firm considers the top 50 cryptocurrencies in ETP wrappers by the end of the year.
“Many begin their journey into crypto by purchasing BTC and ETH via financial wrappers like ETPs,” Lindberg told Blockworks at the time. “Once you learn more, a natural next step is to dive deeper, and when they find that many of them have outperformed BTC and ETH for the past year, they naturally get curious.”