Wilshire Indexes Press Center

December 14, 2021

Wilshire Announces Blythe Masters as Chair of New Digital Assets Advisory Group

Wilshire Digital Assets Advisory Group’s first initiative: Develop a standard transparent digital asset taxonomy system to categorize the top 1,000 digital asset technologies by market capitalization

London, Santa Monica, California, December 14, 2021 -Wilshire, a global investment technology and advisory company, today announced the formation of the Wilshire Digital Asset Advisory Group (Advisory Group) with Blythe Masters, Founding Partner at Motive Partners and an expert in financial services, technology and digital assets, as Chair. The Advisory Group brings together the top digital asset practitioners in the world to capture their collective perspectives and insights. A crucial next step is to deliver an industry standard Digital Asset Taxonomy System (DATS).

As of October 2021, there are over 7,000 active digital assets in existence, moving far beyond cryptocurrencies. Working with Digital Asset Research (DAR), a specialist provider of crypto data and research, the Advisory Group has developed a comprehensive methodology for the classification of digital assets. DATS allows the industry to categorize, manage and research digital asset technologies by identifying common usage types and underlying technologies, as well as investment themes. This is an important building block for the institutional market to develop investment solutions based on rigorous research.

The Advisory Group will review DATS classification decisions on a quarterly basis as the digital asset market continues to evolve at pace. Any changes will be formally communicated to the markets via a press release from Wilshire and DAR to ensure full transparency.

The working group will include a range of highly experienced digital asset experts and insiders.

Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive of Wilshire, commented "I'm thrilled to announce Blythe Masters as the Chair of the Wilshire Digital Assets Advisory Group. It's incredibly important to bring together the leaders in this market to ensure institutional participants have the depth of independent research available to bring the right solutions to market for investors. By developing a standardized taxonomy with DAR that is aligned to the way investors already compare industry and sector trends, we continue to be a catalyst in bringing safer access to the digital assets market for institutional investors."

Blythe Masters, Chair of the Wilshire Digital Assets Advisory Committee, said: "The world of digital assets continues to develop at pace and is growing in importance, meaning it is absolutely the right time to develop a classification taxonomy to help investors make sense of it all. With Wilshire and DAR, we have the right partners involved, bringing the right experience and insights to the creation of a taxonomy, from which investors will see real benefits."

Doug Schwenk, CEO of DAR, said "Since 2017, we have been committed to providing unbiased institutional quality crypto data and research to investors. We are incredibly proud to be working with Wilshire and Blythe as this Advisory Group sets standards for the institutional market. By contributing our existing DAR Taxonomy as a starting point, we're hitting the ground running with a solution backed by five years of work, covering 1,000+ assets, and used by numerous market participants."

Having a taxonomy of digital assets has become an increasingly important market requirement due to the exponential growth of new crypto assets including non-fungible tokens (NFTs). From industry to subsector, DATS will be based on a digital asset's functionality or use case. DATS will be available in January 2022.

The taxonomy classification initially applies three main supersectors:

digital currencies, spanning general purpose, privacy-preserving and stable and asset-backed tokens;

computational platforms, including application tokens, protocol interoperability, notarization and supply chain management, smart contract platforms and distributed computation and storage; and,

financial instruments, spanning staking instruments and decentralized autonomous organizations and security tokens.

In addition to the taxonomy classification, digital assets are grouped into themes and subthemes relating to certain shared characteristics, regarding purpose, utility, asset structure, or other key factors. The themes highlighted are:

Environmentally Focused Theme - assets that aim to achieve more efficient energy usage on a per transaction basis than assets implemented on Proof-of-Work blockchains.;

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) - assets that disintermediate centralized financial services by utilizing smart contracts on blockchains to apply the decentralized properties of digital assets to activities, including, but not limited to, lending, exchange, and insurance; covering the subthemes:

      Automated Market Maker

      Asset Management


      Lending and Borrowing


      Prediction Markets

      Yield Aggregator

About Wilshire

Wilshire is a global provider of market-leading indexes, advanced analytics, and multi-asset investment solutions. A trusted partner to a diverse range of more than 500 institutional investors and financial intermediaries, our clients rely on us to improve investment outcomes for a better future. Wilshire is headquartered in the United States with offices worldwide and advises on over $1.3 trillion in assets, $93 billion of which are assets under management.

About Blythe Masters

Blythe Masters is an experienced financial services and technology executive and is a Founding Partner at the leading financial technology specialist private equity firm Motive Partners where she also serves as CEO of Motive Capital Corp, the SPAC sponsored by Motive's funds.

She is the former CEO of Digital Asset - provider of the world's leading smart contract language DAML. She was previously a senior executive at J.P. Morgan for 27 years. She was a member of the Corporate & Investment Bank Operating Committee and firmwide Executive Committee. Positions included Head of Global Commodities, Head of Corporate & Investment Bank Regulatory Affairs, CFO of the Investment Bank, Head of Global Credit Portfolio and Credit Policy and Strategy and Head of Structured Credit.

Masters is a Board Member of A.P. Møller Maersk, GCM Grosvenor and Credit Suisse Group. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of Santander Group and the Board of Santander's Open Digital Services. She is an Advisory Board member for the US Chamber of Digital Commerce, Figure Technologies, and Maxex. She is a member of the Brookings Institution Taskforce on Financial Stability and P.R.I.M.E. Finance (the Hague-based Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance).

Masters is a graduate and Senior Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge where she received a B.A. in Economics.

About DAR

Digital Asset Research (DAR) is a specialist provider of crypto data and research. Since 2017, DAR has combined its expertise in traditional financial services and the crypto space to meet the needs of institutional clients, including asset managers, banks, custodians, family offices, fintech firms, fund administrators, hedge funds, and venture capital firms. DAR's core offerings include Clean Pricing & Verified Volume Data, a Crypto Events Calendar, a Reference Data Master, an Industry Taxonomy & Taxonomy Themes, Exchange Diligence, and Token Diligence, as well as related crypto market research.

Follow DAR: Twitter: @DAR_crypto; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/digital-asset-research/