Henrik Andersson, chief investment officer of crypto asset fund manager Apollo Capital, believes institutions may soon “flip” on their conservative stance toward crypto. 

Speaking to Cointelegraph, the Melbourne-based crypto fund manager said that while institutional interest in crypto has been slow in picking up, particularly in Australia, there are a lot of players waiting for the right moment to strike.

Andersson admitted that major institutional investors in Australia, particularly retirement funds (or superannuation funds), have yet to warm up to the digital asset space:

“It’s still early days. So yes, speaking to a lot of family offices in Australia and smaller boutique institutions. The big industry super funds are not there yet.”

“From their point of view, it’s still a lot of education going on. So, it will still take some time, I believe,” he added.

Apollo Capital is a fund manager focused on providing family office and institutional investors access to crypto investment opportunities. One of its latest launched funds is the Apollo Capital Frontier Fund, which is focused on nonfungible token (NFT) infrastructure, decentralized finance and multichain infrastructure.

Asked what needs to happen for institutional sentiment to change, Andersson believes this will “flip” when big players start making more substantial moves in the space.

“No one wants to be the first into something like this. Because if you’re the first one and things go wrong, then there’s a career risk. That will flip at some point to the opposite,” explained Andersson, adding:

“At some point, when prices go up, then people don’t want to miss out. And if others are making investments, then it will become a career risk not to be invested.”

In Australia, several large banking institutions such as ANZ, NAB and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have already been making forays into the digital asset space.

“We’ve seen several of the major banks here in Australia taking an interest in digital assets. So that’s really, really good to see,” he said.

CBA was notably the first major bank in the country to announce crypto services through its mobile banking app last year, but it later put its plans on hold noting it was still waiting on regulatory clarity from the new government.

Others have pushed forward with stablecoin and tokenized asset trading.

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Internationally, large banking conglomerates such as Singapore’s DBS Bank are continuing to grow their digital assets businesses despite the bear market, while major investment banks have also been beefing up their coverage of the crypto space.

“You have all the major investment banks in the world writing research reports on the crypto space. Everyone from Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JPMorgan and others. So, there’s definitely still a lot of interest in the space from those kinds of institutional players,” he explained, adding:

“So, while it seems like it’s going very slowly now, once the sentiment changes, we see the first players making investments that can change very, very quickly.”

Earlier this week, Irfan Ahmad, the Asia Pacific digital lead for the bank’s crypto unit State Street Digital, told Sydney Morning Herald that despite the current crypto winter, institutional investors have maintained their interest in blockchain and digital assets.