Matt Hougan is leaving the exchange-traded-fund industry after 15 years and going all-in on cryptocurrencies as he predicts digital assets will transform investments just like ETFs did.
Hougan is joining Bitwise Asset Management Inc. as vice president of research and development. He previously served as chief executive officer at the educational company Inside ETFs.
“When I think about individual applications, like gold which is a $3 trillion market, there’s the idea of Bitcoin as millennial gold,” Hougan said in an interview. “It’s a multitrillion-dollar opportunity, and then when you get into utility tokens, each of those markets can be substantial.”
How fast the market gets there, how it breaks down between the coins, and the volatility in between are hard to predict, so investors should be in for the long term and diversify, said Hougan, who was head of ETF.com, a ratings and analytics service, before leading Inside ETFs. The cryptocurrency market has grown 25 times in the past year to about $500 billion, with Bitcoin making up a little more than a third of it, according to CoinMarketCap data.