On Thursday, S&P Dow Jones Indices, a division of financial data provider S&P Global Inc, said that it will launch cryptocurrency indices in 2021, making it the latest major finance company to enter the nascent asset class.
The S&P DJI-branded products will use data from New York-based virtual currency company Lukka on more than 550 of the top traded coins, the companies said.
S&P's clients will be able to work with the index provider to create customized indices and other benchmarking tools on cryptocurrencies, S&P and Lukka said in a joint statement.
The joint efforts are hoped to create more reliable pricing data that will make it easier for investors to access the new asset class, and reduce some of the risks of the very volatile and speculative market, they said.
"With digital assets such as cryptocurrencies becoming a rapidly emerging asset class, the time is right for independent, reliable and user-friendly benchmarks," said Peter Roffman, global head of innovation and strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The move by one of the world's most well-known index providers could help cryptocurrencies become more mainstream investments.
Bitcoin has gained attention this year after surging around 170% YTD (year-to-date). Cryptocurrencies have been around for more than a decade, but have started attracting more interest from large financial companies, including Fidelity Investments and Japan's Nomura Holdings Inc, over the last few years.