The Dow for Crypto: CoinDesk Introduces the 20 Index to Underpin Futures Contracts at Bullish

Indices, a leading provider of financial market data and analytics, has introduced a new benchmark for the cryptocurrency market called the CoinDesk 20 Index. This index aims to serve as a broad measure of the overall performance of the cryptocurrency market, similar to how the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 function in the stock market.

The CoinDesk 20 Index includes the world’s largest and most-liquid cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum’s ether (ETH), as well as a diverse range of other digital assets. It provides traders with a comprehensive summary of the market’s performance, allowing them to gauge the overall health and trends of the cryptocurrency market.

What sets the CoinDesk 20 Index apart from previous attempts at creating marketwide benchmarks is the availability of investable products based on it. Bullish, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, is offering perpetual futures contracts tied to the CoinDesk 20 Index. These contracts allow traders to hedge their cryptocurrency portfolios or speculate on the broader market. Within hours of their introduction, trading volume for these futures contracts exceeded $1 million, indicating strong demand from institutional investors.

Alan Campbell, the president of Indices, expressed his delight at the institutional-level liquidity generated by the CoinDesk 20 Index. This suggests that the index has the potential for broader adoption and could become a trusted reference point for the digital asset marketplace.

Indexes play a crucial role in financial markets by providing investors with a sense of how the market as a whole is performing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been a key indicator of the stock market’s performance for over a century, while the S&P 500 Index influences the value of popular financial products such as futures contracts and exchange-traded funds.

The CoinDesk 20 Index aims to fulfill a similar role in the cryptocurrency market. Currently, there is no widely followed index that serves as the flagship barometer for cryptocurrencies. Tom Farley, CEO of Bullish, believes that the CoinDesk 20 Index can fill this gap and become the trusted reference point that the digital asset marketplace needs.

It’s worth noting that Indices had previously discontinued a different index with the same name in 2022. The company also offers the CoinDesk Market Index, which includes nearly 200 cryptocurrencies. However, the CoinDesk 20 Index is more suitable for the launch of futures contracts and exchange-traded funds due to its focus on the largest and most-liquid cryptocurrencies.

The CoinDesk 20 Index assigns weightings to each cryptocurrency based on their market capitalization. Bitcoin and ether have the largest weightings at 31% and 22%, respectively. However, the index also includes smaller cryptocurrencies like Aptos (APT) and Filecoin (FIL), which have the smallest weightings of 0.7%. Meme coins like dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) are also part of the index, while stablecoins like Tether’s USDT and Circle’s USDC are excluded.

To ensure diversity, the CoinDesk 20 Index imposes limits on the weightings of individual cryptocurrencies. Currently, bitcoin cannot exceed 30% of the index’s weighting, and no other member can exceed 20%. This ensures that the index represents a broad range of cryptocurrencies and prevents any single digital asset from dominating the index’s performance.

In conclusion, the introduction of the CoinDesk 20 Index by Indices represents a significant development in the cryptocurrency market. This benchmark aims to provide a comprehensive measure of the market’s performance and has the potential to become a widely followed reference point for the digital asset marketplace. With the availability of investable products based on the index, such as perpetual futures contracts, the CoinDesk 20 Index could attract institutional investors and contribute to the maturation of the cryptocurrency market.