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OPTO Sessions Bitwise’s Matt Hougan talks crypto, direct index investing and DeFi

As the pioneer of the world’s first cryptocurrency index fund, Bitwise Asset Management has become one of the largest and fastest-growing crypto asset managers amid the increasing popularity for investing in digital currencies.

Matt Hougan is chief investment officer of the firm, where he leads development for its flagship fund, the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund [BITW]. He stepped into the role in October last year, following a close-to three-year stint as the global head of research at Bitwise. Hougan also has extensive experience in spearheading the ETF space’s growth — he was previously the CEO of ETF.com and Inside ETFs.

 

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“I see a lot of parallels between the journey that ETFs took and the journey that crypto is taking today,” Hougan tells Opto Sessions. While digital currencies are still a burgeoning market, he says future growth is based on three main benefits: “Money moves at internet speeds, you can program money, and you can create digital property rights.”

Looking ahead, he sees Bitcoin becoming the digital gold as a “virtual certainty”. “Bitcoin probably has the lock on that market, and that’s a very big market. Programmable money, self-driving banks and decentralised finance have a chance of disrupting the traditional financial industry in the same way that software and automation disrupted almost every other industry in the world,” Hougan explains.

“Bitcoin probably has the lock on that market, and that’s a very big market. Programmable money, self-driving banks and decentralised finance have a chance of disrupting the traditional financial industry in the same way that software and automation disrupted almost every other industry in the world”

 

Of course, there are a huge number of risks involved. However, as an alternative investment, Hougan says that crypto has been one of the best-performing assets over the last 10 years.

His approach to investing in the market is through index funds “because I have a high degree of confidence in crypto’s future, but I know that picking and choosing the winners is going to be difficult”.

 

To hear more from Hougan, including who sparked his initial interest in Bitcoin, why he loves direct index investing and to learn more about the firm’s recently launched Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF [BITQ], listen to the full episode on Opto Sessions.

 

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Listen to the full interview and explore our past episodes on Opto Sessions.

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