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The Defiance Digital Revolution ETF (NFTZ), recognized as the first NFT ETF, is set to close its doors on February 28, as announced by Defiance ETFs. The move has surprised market insiders after a more than 50% bounce from the lows of December 2022.
NFTZ provides exposure to a portfolio of firms involved in or linked to the NFT and cryptocurrency industries. The fund’s shares were traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange Arca, and they have companies such as sports betting firm DraftKings, Coinbase, and a selection of Bitcoin miners as part of their portfolio.
However, despite the initial excitement and predictions by Sylvia Jablonski, the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Defiance ETFs, that NFTs “could be bigger than the Internet”, the NFT market has struggled to sustain its growth.
NFT ETFs in the Crypto-Sphere
NFTZ launched in December 2021, pretty much at the height of the market. So, throughout its first year, they had to endure the long and baron crypto winter. In only its first two trading days, the fund experienced a significant decline of 11%.
Interest in NFTs and the crypto-sphere has seen a decrease as the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plummeted. Although, since the start of 2023 the whole space has seen a reversal, with many analysts calling it the bottom.
Leading Asian crypto exchange, Kucoin launched its own NFT ETF last July, which tracks a selection of blue-chip NFTs. These include Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, SandBox, OtherDeed, and Ethereum Name Service.
The KuCoin NFT ETFs are traded on the exchange and create an opportunity for its users to own fractional ownership of native blue-chip NFTs. It has seen steady trading since launch, which could be down to it being traded on a crypto exchange.
What Are ETFs?
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) like NFTZ offer indirect exposure to underlying assets, such as NFTs, via shares. This provides investors with the opportunity to diversify their holdings without having to physically hold the assets and makes each market it represents much more liquid.
There are ETFs in all markets, such as Gold, where shares of the ETF represent a small percentage of a bar of gold or equity in gold mining companies. There has been a call for the SEC to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, which would arguably see much more liquidity pour into the market, but the powers that be have so far denied all Bitcoin ETFs.
NFTZ Might Be Closing But The NFT Market Is Only Just Beginning
NFTZ opened in a blaze of glory. December 2021 was pretty much the height of the crypto, Bitcoin miners were going public, a new Bitcoin Futures ETF had just launched, and there was plenty of optimism in the market.
But things haven’t worked out for the first NFT ETF platform, even though the market has started to recover. Was it too early for the NFT industry to have an ETF on a legacy stock exchange? In hindsight, it’s hard to argue against that, but we do expect to see many more NFT ETFs launch in the coming years.