Can you explain what indexes are?

Indexes are vital tools for investors to track markets, benchmark performance, and build diversified portfolios.

In 1884, Charles Dow and Edward Jones established the Dow Jones Average (later known as the Dow Jones Transportation Average). Initially tracking eleven stocks—nine railroad and two industrial companies—the index underwent a transformation. Recognizing that industrial companies better represented U.S. speculative markets, Dow and Jones introduced a new index: the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

Over time, the DJIA has emerged as a key indicator for the broader U.S. stock market. This evolution marked the beginning of a trend where indexes expanded to encompass virtually every facet of the investable universe. They now span from the entire global stock market to the most specialized investment themes and geographical areas.

In the expanding crypto universe, indexes are the basis for financial products, such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and offer investors a convenient way to gain exposure to crypto assets.

Why does crypto need indexes?

Crypto's decentralized nature leads to varied asset prices across exchanges, causing challenges for investors seeking reliable data.

Reference rates (also called single-asset indexes) tackle this by aggregating prices across trusted crypto exchanges to offer a precise and unified data point for each crypto asset. This ensures accurate tracking of financial products for those assets, especially during liquidity-induced fluctuations that have historically led to erratic asset valuations.

Illustration for the Vinter ETH/USD rate (eth-usd-p-r) and BTC/USD rate (btc-usd-p-r) on 2023-11-29 and 2023-12-04 respectively:

For instance:

  • On February 22, 2021, Kraken experienced a significant number of anomalous trades as its liquidation engine forcibly closed positions of traders with margin positions. Vinter’s index values were unaffected during this incident.

  • On April 22, 2021, someone placed a large trade on the Coinbase BTC-USD market. The large-sized sell order caused price slippage, which resulted in the price of BTC dropping from USD 53,200 to below USD 51,400 in 5 minutes. Vinter's BTC reference rate and indexes selecting bitcoin were unaffected during this flash crash as it naturally factors out large sell trade on Coinbase.

The landscape of crypto is also changing at a fast pace, introducing new themes, applications, and innovations such as DeFi, NFTs, ProofOfStake, and Web 3 to mention a few. The rise of those new crypto assets has created a need for monitoring the expansion of specific segments within the crypto markets. Basket indexes (also called multi-asset indexes) address this need by offering comprehensive benchmarks, enabling investors to gauge the health and performance of selected crypto ecosystems, including specific sectors through thematic indexes.

How do you calculate indexes?

To guarantee an impartial and thorough portrayal of a specific market, indexes depend on a predetermined methodology. This methodology dictates the weighting, constituents, and rebalancing schedule. These index rules are in place to eliminate subjectivity from influencing index construction, ensuring that users receive solely objective information.

The critical part in calculating crypto indexes are:

  • establishing the asset universe: a list of all the assets that can be included in the index

  • selecting the constituents: similarly to traditional finance, some parameters are used to determine an index’s portfolio or constituents such as the market cap., the consensus mechanism, the theme (DeFi, Metaverse, Gaming, Web 3)

  • determining the constituents' weighting: assets get a weight proportional to their importance according to specified criteria, such as market capitalization or other relevant factors.

Following the launch of the index, the index provider assumes the responsibility of ongoing monitoring and maintenance, as price fluctuations may lead to changes in constituents and weightings, necessitating updates or rebalancing according to the methodology, which dictates the frequency (commonly monthly, quarterly, or annually). During a rebalancing, the index provider will reevaluate and potentially replace constituents while adjusting their weights.

How can I consume your data?

If you're looking to access Vinter's data, we offer three options:

  1. API Access: This is a straightforward method to retrieve constituents, end-of-day prices, and the index value. The documentation can be found at docs.vinter.co.

  2. SFTP Integration: If you prioritize security, we provide the option to integrate through the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

  3. Email Delivery: If using the API isn't feasible, we can deliver essential index data via email. Keep in mind that this option may involve more manual work.

To begin, send a request to "support@vinter.co" indicating your preferred integration option. We're here to assist you!

If you are curious to understand how a rebalancing is carried out, check the following sections:

When are the new index values published?

New index values are published daily, typically 10 minutes after calculation. To ensure accuracy, the daily calculations must pass exhaustive validation tests. The time of publication is stated in the methodologies under the "Dissemination" section.

How do you calculate the price of crypto assets?

In brief, we aggregate the trades from carefully selected crypto exchanges and then take the median across all exchanges to derive a real-time price.

The daily frequency is the most important pricing data feed since it is used to settle regulated financial derivatives and to evaluate exchange-traded products.

If you need more information, please visit https://methodology.vinter.co/vinter/reference-rates.

How do you rebalance an index?

To rebalance an index, you adjust the components of the index to bring them back to their target weights. This typically involves selling or buying assets within the index to ensure that each asset's proportion aligns with the predetermined allocation. This process ensures that the index accurately reflects the intended market exposure and maintains its desired characteristics. Rebalancing is vital to keep the product's performance in line with its benchmark and to manage risk effectively.

If you need more information on when is rebalancing taking place, please check section: #when-does-vinter-rebalance-its-indexes

Which email address should I reach out to and for which type of request?

For business-critical and tech-related issues: support@vinter.co

We set up an efficient escalation system to answer you as fast as possible, intending to provide a first answer within 15 min.

For commercial, operational, strategic, and product-related matters:

A dedicated Client Success Manager will ensure the highest level of client service. As a rule, you can always contact this email address, which shares the same prioritization system as support@vinter.

If you are regularly sending files/information to Vinter: data@vinter.co

How is a typical index implementation going through?

Every index implementation follows a streamlined process:

  1. Onboarding: briefing on Vinter, sharing the index idea/rationale.

  2. Building: making some index construction decisions, selecting the integration channel, reviewing backtests, freezing the index construction, signing off the index methodology

  3. Launching: aligning on marketing/launch/distribution activities, releasing your product.

To get a more detailed and visual overview, please visit our step-by-step flow chart.


How do Vinter index methodologies work?

Vinter's methodologies gather in one online document a set of rules and procedures used to select and weigh crypto assets as well as to rebalance a given index. The main sections are the following:

  • Introduction: summarizes what the index methodology is about along with a short description of the client and Vinter.

  • Indexes: lists the index construction rules in the sections Universe, Selection, Weighting, and Rebalancing as well as adds a short description of the Rationale for investing in a given strategy. It also specifies the dissemination parameters (currency, launch date, base date, publication time, ...), the identifiers (the index ticker, Bloomberg ticker, Refinitiv ticker, API Symbol, ...), and, when relevant includes standalone sections bringing some clarification on how calculations are executed.

  • General Construction Parameters: describes the overall mechanics behind different index construction sections.

    • Universe: introduces the Vinter taxonomy, though it can be disregarded if it is not referred to in an index.

    • Selection: specifies when is the Review Date (the date at which Vinter will calculate the new weights to be set up at rebalancing) and what actions the index committee will take in specific cases.

    • Weighting: sets out the general rules followed by indexes to allocate a weight to each selected constituent.

    • Rebalancing: introduces the rebalancing calendar, the source of truth for upcoming rebalancing.

  • Eligible assets: refers to the eligibility criteria listed on the Vinter Compliance webpage. Any crypto asset must satisfy those criteria to be able to be selected in an index. The eligible asset universe per client is a dynamic list of crypto assets that automatically expands or scales down without the need to update the index methodology. Any change to the asset universe between two Review Dates will not affect the index as indexes typically select new constituents at the Review Date. By default, the asset universe evolves with

  • Calculation: explains how the index value is calculated.

  • Constituent Pricing: introduces the asset pricing methodologies executed by Vinter. To find out the relevant asset pricing methodology linked to an index, see section #how-do-i-find-the-asset-pricing-for-a-specific-crypto-asset

  • Market Capitalization: clarifies how market caps are extracted.

  • Index Provider: states the responsibilities and actions performed by Vinter.

  • Document Versions: records the changes brought to the document over time.

What is the difference between the base / inception / first value / live / launch / release / listing date?
  • base date = inception date = the day when Vinter started backtesting index values.

  • live date = first value date = the day when Vinter started producing live index values, i.e. no more backtested values.

  • launch date = release date = the day when the index is publicly unveiled. The index can be launched on two different dates:

    • Pre-listing date (also called soft launch): On this day, a joint announcement is released to publicly announce the creation of the new index, though no investment product is disclosed. Vinter publishes the methodology on its website.

    • Listing date: On this day, an investment product tracking the index is listed on a given trading venue. Simultaneously, the index is published on Vinter's methodology webpage.

How do you ensure that the index selects assets that are supported by my market makers, custodians, the relevant listing venues, ... ?

As we build your index, we gather a list of your service providers: market markers, crypto exchanges, staking providers, custodians, and listing venues. This enables us to ensure any asset that will be entering the index is supported by all your providers.

After an index/product is launched, you can always inform us about any change with your service providers around 10 business days before the review date. This way, we have the time to implement the changes and update your asset universe (intersection of all your providers' list of supported assets).

One benefit of our methodology structure is that it does not need to be updated thanks to the following reasoning. In any of our methodology, you can:

  1. Go to the section Eligible Assets;

  2. Click on the eligibility criteria link;

  3. Go through all the points and read point #6. of the eligibility criteria. There, it states that Vinter will only select assets that are supported by the industry, i.e. any of the client's providers.


What are the benefits of using a reference rate vs. taking prices from a single public source?

The benefits are multiple:

  1. Reference rates have undergone rigorous testing and careful adjustments to alleviate investor worries regarding possible price manipulation, time discrepancies, and exchange malfunctions.

  2. Vinter provides reliable, consistent benchmarks which are also useful for accurate computation of a fund's net asset value (NAV), and the valuation of exchange-traded products/funds (ETP/Fs).

  3. Vinter offers asset pricing that distinguishes it from public sources like Coinmarketcap/CoinGecko. By employing the median over average prices, Vinter minimizes the impact of outlier prices, ensuring a more precise representation of the fair market value. Additionally, Vinter utilizes a time-weighted approach called partitioning, enabling the capture of fair market prices at multiple intervals and effectively eliminating market manipulation at closing hours.

  4. To ensure the precision and reliability of these rates, it is essential to carry out a comprehensive exchange selection process, diligently evaluate liquidity, and prioritize USD pairing. For an exchange to be selected, it must satisfy a list of 11 carefully calibrated criteria around liquidity, AML/KYC processes, market manipulation, pricing, longevity in the sector, etc …

For additional precisions, we invite you to visit #why-does-crypto-need-indexes

Is the index the underlying instrument or is it the digital currencies? Should this be defined as indirect or direct exposure to the underlying digital currencies?

The final terms will specify the underlying components for each product series.

  • For single-asset products, the crypto assets themselves are the underlying.

  • For multi-asset products, the index is the underlying.

The financial regulator is asking here if the exposure will be to "an index or a basket of crypto assets", but per the European Union Benchmark Regulation (BMR) definition, a basket of a crypto asset is an index.

The crypto assets are benchmark constituents of the index used by the issuer. The exposure is thus indirect.

Are single-asset ETPs listed in the EU exempted from tracking a BMR-regulated single-asset index?

The short answer to the question is simple: no.

Here below is the corresponding reasoning:

Later in 2021, the European Commission and ESMA clarified what single asset reference rates should be regarded as during a Q&A. They clarified that if a structured product only refers to one single asset will not need a benchmark administrator to provide that reference rate. They clarified this because if you read the regulation it says that an index is something that is comprised of multiple sources, even though it’s only one asset. But since ESMA clarified that single asset structured products, don’t need a benchmark administrator, that is what we should follow.

However, the Q&A of ESMA is not law. Therefore this is a case of an unclear legal situation. But since ESMA is the enforcer of this market, a pragmatic view is to listen to them. Regardless of this, some asset managers have chosen to get Benchmarks administrators for their single asset products anyway.

Vinter solves a legal problem if in certain jurisdictions asset managers must buy from a company like ours or get fined. And two commercial problems/challenges. One that it’s important for Asset Management to stay competitive and therefore have competitive indexes. Two, it is market practice outsourcing that calculates the value of an ETF or ETP due to investors not trusting asset managers who both benefit from the value of a structured product increasing but also are the ones who determine that value. It’s seen as sketchy.

What should I know about the Crypto Assets Benchmark Statement on Vinter's compliance page?

The benchmark statement on our compliance page always completes our index methodologies. Here are the key insights to know about the main sections:

  • Changes to the methodology (link): When a change needs to be implemented to the methodology or an index user (asset manager) wishes to adjust the methodology after an index is launched, the first step is to identify whether the change is "material" or not. The assessment is done by the index committee. In the case of a material change, a notice period of 60 days would have to be respected, i.e. the change would occur 60 days after the index committee's notice to asset managers and market participants.

  • Market events (link)

    • Forks: When two blockchain protocols are created from one, Vinter has a clear and transparent process to pick which crypto asset will be included as an eligible constituent. Please read the section if you want to know more.

    • Extraordinary events: When such an event occurs, an index committee will be proactive in suggesting, structuring, and executing solution paths to ensure continuity and compliance of its indexes. Asset managers can be expected to be consulted before any solution is implemented.

  • Yearly Review (link): Benchmark methodologies and statements undergo annual reviews, taking into account feedback from index users (typically asset managers) and other market participants. Note that Yearly Review ≠ Review Date.

  • Exchange Minimum Eligibility Criteria (link): Vinter is its own data provider when it comes to producing reference rates and pricing the assets included in its indexes. To do so, it aggregates the trades from a curated list of crypto exchanges satisfying a battle-tested list of criteria. This ensures increased accuracy and robustness no matter the market conditions. To request the list of the exchanges used to price certain crypto assets, please reach out to support@vinter.co.

  • Constituent Minimum Eligibility Criteria (link): Vinter only selects crypto assets satisfying a specific list of criteria. Those criteria can become more restrictive or permissive if the methodology specifies it.

What is the difference between "deemed" and "alleged" in the crypto asset eligibility criteria? How is it concretely handled by Vinter when a crypto asset does not satisfy one of those eligibility criteria?


  • alleged: the public financial regulatory authorities emitted an accusation though it is not yet proven. It remains ambiguous.

  • deemed: the public financial regulatory authorities emitted a judgment. It is straightforward.


There can be some disagreement between public financial regulatory authorities regarding the status of some crypto assets. As a consequence, Vinter only factors in its methodologies the jurisdiction(s) where the product is listed. For the exclusion of a crypto asset to be effective, due to not satisfying either the #4 or #5 eligibility criteria, two conditions need to be fulfilled at the Review Date:

  • The index must be tracked by a product that is listed in a country over which the given public financial authority has jurisdiction.

  • We have a public link/document/source supporting that the given crypto asset fails the criteria.


Which services can I request from Vinter when building my custom index?

We offer multiple services to facilitate the launch and operation of your strategies such as:

  • Providing the indicative list of new constituents before the review date;

  • Calculating the indicative weights before the review date;

  • Disseminating index values to Refinitiv, daily;

  • Disseminating index values to Bloomberg, daily;

  • Calculating the Net Asset Value of your portfolio;

  • Producing monthly tearsheet and composition reports;

  • Providing the index committee decision report available at each review date;

  • Backtesting index strategies on an ad-hoc basis;

  • Registering your index for an ISIN (International Securities Identification Numbering),

  • and many more ...

Please reach out to support@vinter.co if you want to request any service from Vinter.

Can Vinter obtain an ISIN and how?

Yes, we can.

Vinter usually requests the International Securities Identification Numbering (ISIN) for its indexes from Euroclear Sweden and includes the codes in the methodology.

Which marketing and distribution activities can Vinter support us with?

From a general perspective, we are excited to collaborate on the following materials:

  • Fact sheet.

  • Primer/Investment case.

  • Thought leadership piece.

  • FAQ on the ETP/strategy.

  • Blog post.

  • Whitepaper.

  • Cross-post on x.com and linkedin.com.

  • Podcast.

  • Joint press release.

  • Webinar.

  • Social events (breakfast, conference, lunch, summit, after-work, etc ...).

In instances of a joint press release, we're here to support you by pitching the exclusivity of your news to prominent media outlets like Coindesk, Blockworks, ETF Stream, ETF Express, Di Digital, and Financial Times. Our goal is to secure exclusive coverage for your news, ensuring that these reputable media sources get the first scoop before others.

What are the DEMO files you send via email? What do they look like?

We can deliver to you the following types of files:

  • Tear Sheet (example to download and open in Chrome): A quick summary of an investment's important details, like performance and price trends, used by professionals to make informed decisions. This file is sent with each backtesting report.

  • Composition Report (example to download and open in Chrome): A concise overview outlining the crypto assets included in the index, their respective weights, and their contribution to the performance over time, among others. It's a quick reference used by professionals to grasp the index's turnover and performance. This file is sent with each backtesting report.

  • End-of-Day (example): A spreadsheet containing the final values of the index and the prices of the individual crypto assets at the close of the trading day. This file provides a snapshot of the day's performance and is commonly used by professionals to analyze and track the index's progress.. This file is sent daily.

  • Closing Prices of New Assets (example): A spreadsheet containing the prices of the individual crypto assets at the close of the rebalancing day for the assets that are entering the index. This file is sent at rebalancing.

  • Net Asset Value (example): A document summarizing the total value of a product's underlying crypto assets after accounting for expenses and liabilities. Professionals use this report to quickly assess the performance discrepancy between the index and the product. This file is sent daily.

  • Portfolio Composition File (example): A document detailing the specific crypto assets held within the product, along with their respective proportions. A net asset value (NAV) report is also included and provides a concise overview of the product's total value after accounting for fees and obligations. These documents offer professionals a concise snapshot of the product's holdings and financial performance. This file is sent daily.

  • Rebalance Weights (example): A record outlining the adjusted proportions assigned to each crypto asset within the index before a rebalancing process. It provides a quick snapshot of the updated composition and is used by professionals to maintain the index's desired characteristics. This file is sent the next business day after the review date.

Can you share an example of backtest? What statistics can I see?

Of course!

You can preview examples of a "Tear Sheet" and "Composition Report" in the sections #what-are-the-demo-files-you-send. Below are some of the key statistics you can find in those reports.

Tear Sheet

  • historical returns

  • Sharpe ratio

  • Sortino ratio

  • worst drawdown events in days and % loss

  • volatility

Composition Report

  • index turnover

  • estimated trading costs

  • weight per asset before and after rebalancing

  • evolution of the constituent ranking in terms of weight

  • correlation matrix

  • asset contribution to overall performance

We follow the following file naming convention: composition_report_defi-mc-5-d_2020-05-01_2022-05-01.html

  • the dates in the file names are in the format yyyy-mm-dd and display the first and last date at which the strategy was calculated.

  • "mc" means marketcap

  • "mc-sqrt" means square root of market cap

  • "mcc" means market cap capped

  • "-5-d" means that the index can contain up to 5 assets

If you need more precisions or assistance on a specific metric/graph, feel free to contact support@vinter.co.

Does Vinter have a Client Portal?

Yes, we do!

Please visit https://portal.vinter.co/

  • If you are a client, please reach out to support@vinter.co to get your set of credentials and access your account.

  • If you are not a client, please reach out to hello@vinter.co to see a demo.

Last updated