Betashares Launches Australia’s First Metaverse ETF on ASX

It’s the first ETF of its kind in Australia, providing investors a means to gain access to a portfolio of global metaverse-focused companies


Source: Blockworks


key takeaways

  • Betashares’ metaverse ETF will attempt to track the Bloomberg Metaverse Select Index which, in turn, tracks 32 metaverse-focused companies
  • Betashares joins the likes of other providers, including ProShares and Global X, as it seeks to capitalize on the potential growth of virtual worlds

Australian provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) Betashares said Wednesday it has launched the country’s first metaverse-themed product on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The BetaShares Metaverse ETF (MTAV) listing provides exposure to a portfolio of global companies involved in the building, development and operations circling the metaverse, Betashares said in a statement.

MTAV will attempt to track the Bloomberg Metaverse Select Index by offering exposure to a portfolio of 32 companies. Those companies include the likes of Roblox, NVIDIA and Meta Platforms whose focus centers on generating a “meaningful amount of their revenues” from metaverse-related activities.

Metaverses, or digital worlds, refer to spaces at the intersection of virtual reality, gaming, artificial intelligence, advertising, as well as digital currencies and tokens.

Meta, formerly Facebook, reported a second-quarter loss of $2.8 billion via the social media giant’s metaverse division Reality Labs. Still, CEO Mark Zuckerberg remains upbeat on the long-term prospects for metaverse gaming and endevours.

“As the range of technologies underpinning the [metaverse] evolves and user growth continues, this secular trend is expected to revolutionise the way we engage with sport, live music and other ways of staying connected,” BetaShares CEO Mr Alex Vynokur said in the statement.

“While still in the early stages of evolution, the [metaverse] has the potential to be one of the biggest secular growth trends of the coming decades.”

Bullish in a bear market

Betashares joins the likes of other providers, including ProShares and Global X, as it seeks to capitalize on the potential growth of virtual worlds with an estimated $800 billion in annual revenue by 2024.

ProShares’ metaverse ETF, VERS, is down 10% since its March launch while Global X’s fund, VR, has dropped 7% since it debuted in late April. For scale, the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 has fallen almost 20% this year.

In any case, Betashares’ move into the metaverse comes as Australia listed its first spot bitcoin and ether ETFs back in May by issuer 21Shares. The US, by comparison, is yet to list its own spot bitcoin ETF much to the chagrin of market participants. The US has listed multiple futures-based bitcoin ETFs.

Despite projected revenue for the metaverse, market conditions continue to plague the beleagured sector which include nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

According to data by NFT gaming platform Balthazar, which analyzed four of the industry’s top NFT marketplaces OpenSea, Magic Eden, LooksRare and Solanart, total sales volume for July stood at $676 million — over US$6 billion lower than January, which recorded roughly $7 billion in sales.

Despite market headwinds, Betashares said it remained bullish on the promise of the metaverse claiming those brands attempting to stay connected with their customers will have to “increasingly invest considerable resources towards their “metaverse strategy.”

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