Most Cryptocurrencies Will Die a Painful Death

The survivors, though, might make interesting investments.

Most Cryptocurrencies Will Die a Painful Death
Bitcoins sit among twisted copper wiring inside a communications room at an office in this arranged photograph in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies being traded today, and more are being created every day. This week’s guest on Masters in Business, Matt Hougan, global head of research at Bitwise Asset Management, warns that “95 percent of these will die a painful and deserved death.”

But just as Google, YouTube and Twitter emerged from the dot-com ashes, something similar will occur with crypto and blockchain. To capitalize on this, Hougan’s firm is assembling an index of 10 leading crypto coins into a new exchange-traded fund. An early adopter of ETFs, Hougan is a three-time member of the Barron’s ETF Roundtable, and co-author of the CFA Institute’s monograph “A Comprehensive Guide to Exchange-Trade Funds.”

His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak Fern Mallis, who created a centralized fashion show known as 7th on Sixth in New York City’s Bryant Park, which expanded into Fashion Week.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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