Assessing ESG risks while investing in blockchain ETFs


Whereas blockchain initiatives are nonetheless at an early stage of improvement throughout most sectors, Morningstar Sustainalytics has developed a framework to assist determine corporations which are nicely positioned to combine this know-how into their ESG methods, in its thematic analysis report entitled “An ESG Lens on Blockchain and Public Equities.”

The analysis created a mannequin fund of funds (FOF) primarily based on 10 blockchain-themed ETFs and evaluate its ESG danger profile with that of a world equities index.

The funds are incepted from 2018 to 2021 and domiciled within the US, Canada, and Eire.

The evaluation discovered that the mannequin FOF has an total weighted ESG danger rating of 19.9, in contrast with 21.6 for its world equities index, which means that buyers within the blockchain market face barely much less total ESG danger than buyers within the broader world equities market.


Blockchain ETF buyers can also keep away from a few of the materials ESG dangers, because the report discovered that solely 10.4% of the FOF ’s market worth falls into the excessive or extreme ESG danger classes, in contrast with 13.8% for the worldwide index.

Nevertheless, the FOF reveals a lot much less sector variety that the worldwide index, suggesting that the potential advantages of software use instances in different sectors could also be untapped by buyers.

ESG dangers

When investing within the crypto market, non-uniform and dynamic regulatory environments can expose corporations on this sector to compliance and moral dangers, in line with the report.

In response to the World Authorized Analysis Directorate of the Regulation Library of Congress, 51 nations have positioned implicit or express bans on particular crypto-related actions, up from 23 in 2018, whereas 9 jurisdictions have made cryptocurrencies unlawful.

One other danger associated to bitcoin and different proof-of-work primarily based cryptos is the environmental affect related to crypto mining, mentioned Morningstar.

For instance, bitcoin makes use of 0.65% of worldwide electrical energy consumption annually, greater than the vitality use of many nations, reminiscent of Finland and Switzerland, in line with College of Cambridge’s on-line tracker.

This makes mining crypto an exercise with important carbon footprints in some nations which generate nearly all of its electrical energy by burning coal.

Nevertheless, there may be additionally some crypto mining that may draw on renewables reminiscent of hydro-power, and a few cryptos operate with out having to depend on proof-of-work mining, the report famous.

Integration of blockchain

In Asia, DBS and Ping An Insurance coverage, are on the forefront of innovating with blockchain and have robust administration programmess to mitigate related ESG dangers, the Morningstar report discovered.

Singapore Financial institution DBS Group expects to develop its blockchain digital alternate consumer base by 20% to 30% over the following three years. The alternate helps fundraising with asset tokenization and digital asset buying and selling. In China, Ping An Insurance coverage Group ranked second within the world blockchain patent race as of No

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