What is cryptocurrency?

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of virtual, or digital, currency rooted in “blockchain” technology. A blockchain is a decentralized digital public ledger of transactions. In other words, blockchains don’t rely on the management or oversight by a third party, such as a bank or an exchange. Cryptocurrency uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. To facilitate secure transactions, information is stored digitally on the blockchain in a way that can’t be manipulated or falsified.

Many single coin indexes already exist, and the few multi-coin indexes available use a market cap-weighted approach. As the digital asset market matures, investors need a robust suite of tools to gain reliable insight into the space.

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Why Digital Assets indexes?

Why Digital Assets Indexes?

MSCI’s Digital Assets Indexes represent a new category of themes fueled by advances in technology that complement our existing megatrend themes. Capitalizing on Menai’s expertise in the digital assets space, we are developing index tools and solutions that institutional investors need to navigate the digital assets market, understand the risks and challenges, and exploit emerging opportunities and developments as the growing industry drives technological change.

What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and tokens?

The biggest difference between a cryptocurrency and a token is that cryptocurrencies are the native asset of a blockchain like Bitcoin (BTC), Smart Bitcoin (RBTC), or Ether (ETH), whereas tokens are built on an existing blockchain, using smart contracts.

Our solutions

Our solutions

We have developed digital assets taxonomy and indexes to help investors classify and categorize digital assets, such as digital gold, payments and smart contracts. Our approach affords institutional investors a new way to think about exposure to the cryptocurrency marketplace. The MSCI digital assets are the first of their kind from MSCI and seek to track the performance of the largest digital assets by market capitalization; digital assets that utilize ex-proof-of-work blockchain consensus mechanisms; and digital assets associated with technology platforms supporting smart-contracts.

Our offerings

MSCI Global Digital Assets Index

Designed to represent the performance of the top 30 digital assets.

MSCI Global Digital Assets Top 20 Index

Designed to represent the performance of the top 20 digital assets.

MSCI Global Digital Assets Smart Contract Index

Designed to represent the performance of the top 10 digital assets associated with Smart Contract features.

MSCI Global Digital Assets Ex Proof-of-Work Index

Designed to represent the performance of the top 10 digital assets associated with consensus mechanisms other than ‘Proof-of-work’.

Gain insight and access to the evolving digital assets ecosystem

MSCI Digital Assets Indexes provide a meaningful framework for digital investing, in partnership with leaders in the cryptocurrency marketplace.

  • A new way for institutional investors to assess exposure to the cryptocurrency marketplace
    • A diversified cryptocurrency index offering to enhance portfolio construction and asset allocation by integrating digital assets with traditional assets
    • Our innovation across the range of Digital Assets encompasses factor indexes, digital assets taxonomy and ESG/Climate-related indexes

In conjunction with a panel of experts, MSCI has constructed a framework and standard taxonomy for digital assets. This innovation creates a common set of metrics and characteristics for evaluating digital assets.

Partner with an index pioneer and innovator

With over 50 years of expertise in data, research, and technology, MSCI takes a systematic and process-oriented approach in providing information to help you gain transparency and make better investment decisions.

  • Novel approach reflects institutional clients’ need for high standards and high quality indexes in this space
  • Proven commitment to expanding our leading thematic offering
  • Solid partnerships with cryptocurrency experts, including Menai Financial Group, Compass Financial Technologies and Cambridge University

Leveraging the expertise of cryptocurrency experts

Leveraging the expertise of cryptocurrency experts

  • Compass Financial Technologies

    Compass Financial Technologies (“Compass Financial”) specializes in the design, calculation and publication of market benchmarks, financial indices, and tailor-made quantitative investment strategies. Currently, Compass has a wide offering of Digital Assets Indexes.

    MSCI’s relationship with Compass Financial marks an important milestone for our broader Digital Assets Strategy, which aims to position MSCI as a leader for institutional investors in the rapidly evolving digital assets space. Content from Compass Financial underpins our first Digital Asset Indexes. These new multi-coin cryptocurrency indexes will be constructed by combining several Compass Financial Technologies single-coin indexes, providing investors a diversified cryptocurrency index offering.

  • Menai Financial Group

    Our collaboration with Menai Financial Group (“Menai”), a leading provider of institutional-grade digital asset investment products and trading services, comes at a time when institutional investors are increasingly considering opportunities within the digital asset class.

    Menai’s expertise will support MSCI’s development of the innovative solutions that institutional investors can leverage to navigate this market, better understand the risks and challenges, and capitalize on emerging opportunities and developments as the rapidly growing industry drives technological change. This collaboration will aim to help institutional investors identify and understand the investment universe for digital assets and the relationship between digital assets and traditional assets.

  • University of Cambridge

    The University of Cambridge has been at the forefront of academic study and research for over eight centuries. Their discoveries and innovations have changed the world immeasurably and we are honored to work with such a globally influential organization. Specifically, their sustainability-related research on digital assets will enable us to develop ESG and Climate variations of our Digital Assets Indexes and make our solutions more appealing to a broader range of investors.


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