WisdomTree Rolls Out New Crypto App in New York Despite Shareholder Concerns Over DeFi Strategy

October 13, 2022, Brazil. In this photo illustration, the WisdomTree Investments logo is displayed on a smartphone screen
  • WisdomTree launched WisdomTree Prime, an app granting users in 41 states access to digital assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • In March, they received approval from the New York DFS to operate as a limited purpose trust company, underlining regulatory oversight.
  • WisdomTree’s largest shareholder criticises the company’s focus on crypto, particularly the underperforming launches of their digital wallet and Bitcoin ETF.

WisdomTree, an asset manager headquartered in New York that offers exchange-traded funds (ETFs) including a Spot Bitcoin ETF, has just launched WisdomTree Prime. WisdomTree Prime is an app which will grant users in 41 states access to digital assets like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

WisdomTree’s app will allow users to save, spend and invest digital assets on-chain.

Related: Is Crypto a Scam? Will Retail Investors Return? Analyst Miles Deutscher Weighs In

In March, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) granted WisdomTree approval to function as a limited purpose trust company under New York Banking Law, according to an earlier press release.


The DFS regulates and oversees the digital asset sector in the state of New York. DFS released an updated ‘greenlist’ back in September, reducing the list of approved tokens from 25 to 8.

Apart from BTC and ETH, the list contains stablecoins Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Pax Gold (PAXG), and the PayPal Dollar (PYUSD).

Dogecoin, XRP and Litecoin are some of the tokens that have been removed from the list – without further explanation.

Aussie Investor Increases Pressure on CEO

Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that WisdomTree’s largest shareholder, Australian Graham Tuckwell, chair of ETFS Capital expressed his displeasure with CEO Jonathan “Jono” Steinberg.

Tuckwell, obviously not a fan of crypto, criticised the CEO for his venture into crypto and DeFi, calling for a proxy vote to oust Steinberg.

According to the FT, Tuckwell criticised WisdomTree for the weak launches of their digital wallet service, WisdomTree Prime, and the Spot Bitcoin ETF – also demanding that WisdomTree release performance data for these initiatives.

The DeFi initiatives have been a massive distraction and utterly unsuccessful in our view.

Graham Tuckwell, chair of ETFS Capital

BTCW, WisdomTree’s Spot Bitcoin ETF was launched with several others earlier this year.

While the funds have raked in a combined US$11.78 billion (AU$17.82 billion) so far, BTCW has managed to gather only US$58.6 million (AU$88.8 million) in assets under management (AUM), as data from Farside shows.

Get the most important crypto news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the CNA newsletter

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

You may also like