Institutional investors are not keen on cryptocurrencies: Anthony Scaramucci

  • SkyBridge Capital founder, Anthony Scaramucci, has said the majority of institutional investors have little interest in crypto.
  • China’s outright crypto ban and high price volatility have put off most conventional investors.

Most institutional investors are still hesitant about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital (global investment firm) tells. Digital assets are dominated by about 10 percent of the financial-service community, the financier said. The former White House chief of communications even called these happenings a “feeding frenzy,” comparing them to the 1990s dot-com boom.

“The institutions are not there,” Scaramucci said. “Anybody who’s telling you there’s institutional adoption into this space is not being honest — or they’re seeing something that I’m not seeing.”

The potential actions of traditional financial institutions when it comes to the new digital asset class still fire up the debate. Talk rises on when and how these money managers, including sovereign wealth funds, state and local pension funds, might buy-in. Digital assets’ worth has risen, driving banks to increase their crypto-related client offerings.

For instance, Fidelity Investments, an institutional services provider, is on a hiring spree for personnel related to such offerings. JPMorgan now allows its retail wealth clients access to crypto funds, and Goldman Sachs has reinstated its crypto trading desk. Also, Vanguard is keen on launching a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Institutional investors and cryptocurrencies

Over the past year, Bitcoin has risen 300 percent in price, a bullish trend copied by a majority of altcoins. Analysts see two key attributive factors: the government’s huge stimulus pumping into economies during the pandemic and the boom in retail investing.

Looming large over the industry, however, are price volatility and regulatory uncertainty. China’s cryptocurrency ban triggered a dip in the crypto market on Friday. The more conservative wealth managers continue to uphold a nonchalant attitude. Retail investors, on the other hand, are clouded with questions of whether crypto investments are appropriate for them.

The fast-expanding footprint of the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry has frustrated banks. For this reason, Scaramucci predicted that one giant bank will “end up buying a Coinbase or something crypto-related” to gain a big crypto presence faster than he’d initially pictured.

Investors are also looking more broadly into their mandate. Hedge funds now seek private equity and venture capital. Venture capital firms are also holding onto their shares longer than they used to, post-IPO. His own company, SkyBridge, is staking more in private companies like Chime, Klarna, Plaid, and Genesis Digital Assets.

That’s stuff we wouldn’t have done 10 years ago and that is accelerating,

Earlier this month, at the SALT conference, the crypto investor announced the launch of an Algorand fund in a couple of months. The fund will add to the current Bitcoin and Ethereum funds the company has. Even more, earlier this week, Scaramucci launched the First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF (ticker CRPT). The product focused on 30 publicly traded companies which Scaramucci is confident will “lead the charge” in the DeFi space.

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