YCharts, a financial data platform with information on 50,000 stocks, exchange traded funds and mutual funds, is adding prices for cryptocurrencies.
The company said Tuesday it will begin offering end-of-day price data for the 25 largest cryptocurrencies based on their market cap, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. YCharts users will then be able to track and compare the new asset class in the same way they can others, such as stocks or ETFs. There is no additional charge for YCharts customers to access the new data.
YCharts CEO Sean Brown said advisors told the company they were fielding questions from clients about cryptocurrencies but struggling to offer what they felt was adequate insight. Advisors also wanted to better understand the new asset class without having to go elsewhere for price data.
Although none really apply to cryptocurrencies, advisors keen on market fundamentals will have a much easier time reviewing data of cryptocurrencies and attempting to model their performance, Brown said.
Brown said the new data is not an indicator of YCharts support or encouragement that client portfolios should include cryptocurrencies.
“Our mission is give people the tools, data and support they need to help them make great decisions,” Brown said. “We’ve got the picks and shovels or the axes. We don’t get in the business of digging the holes.”
YCharts uses a stream of data from several companies it has partnered with that aggregate cryptocurrency prices. Brown said YCharts could have offered real-time pricing of cryptocurrencies, but based on conversations with advisors, end-of-day pricing would serve the needs of the majority of those interested in the asset class.
Brown also said YCharts is in the process of evaluating the data partners. At the time, one aggregator stood out from the others and YCharts would likely thin the group and settle on using only one in the future.
Cryptocurrencies were on a tear from the spring of last year until mid-December before cratering. Bitcoin, for example, began 2017 below $1,000 and reached a high of nearly $20,000 but had since fallen to just over $9,000 on Monday. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch and the wirehouse brokerages have barred advisors from recommending the asset class to clients.
But the asset class still feels like it has some traction. Matt Hougan, the CEO of Inside ETFs and a well-known face in the exchange traded fund industry, recently left to join a cryptocurrency index fund manager. Cryptocurrencies also snuck their way into conversations at TD Ameritrade’s National LINC conference earlier this year.