The world's leading provider of indexes for financial markets is preparing to launch a new one that will help investors track the performance of crypto assets such as bitcoin.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is teaming up with the crypto data company Lukka to create an index providing pricing information on a group of crypto assets. S&P will provide the branding of the index, while Lukka will handle the data.

The news today comes as crypto assets are surging, with the value of one bitcoin now exceeding $19,000, and other alternative crypto assets rising as well.

"With digital assets such as cryptocurrencies becoming a rapidly emerging asset class, the time is right for independent, reliable and user-friendly benchmarks," Peter Roffman, global head of innovation and strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

Bitcoin symbol

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A stock index helps investors measure the price and performance of a group of assets.

Examples include the S&P 500, which measures the collective performance of 500 of the largest companies in the U.S., and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which measures the performance of 30 of the largest companies in the U.S.

While the S&P is a big player to create an index for crypto assets, it is not the first to do so. Competitors such as Bloomberg and the Nasdaq have also unveiled their own crypto indexes in recent years.