A new report from advisory firm Aite Group, that was commissioned by exchange platform eToro, reveals there are still barriers hindering institutional adoption of crypto.
Based on interviews with 25 institutional market participants, the report states the crypto market could reach a $2 trillion market capitalization if more institutional players were to get on board amid more favorable conditions. These firms would be more likely to adopt crypto if there was less regulatory uncertainty, a developed market infrastructure, and less risk surrounding security.
“2020 was the year when many institutional investors such as banks and traditional asset managers began to either invest in crypto or seriously consider doing so, with several touting the asset class — particularly Bitcoin — as an inflation hedge,” said eToro head of business development Tomer Niv.
“Only by widening the playing field and facilitating more participation will crypto reach and maintain a market cap of $2 trillion and beyond.”
The report listed other key factors that could drive institutional investors to the crypto space. They include a “standardised global regulatory regime” as well as a reliable market infrastructure that could provide assurances to institutions who are wary as to how crypto will be regulated in their jurisdiction.
In addition, the report cited “technical complexity” as another barrier to overcome. Some participants expressed concerns over the risks of storing private keys, but recognized the benefits of crypto cold storage. Niv added:
“It’s encouraging to see that the next phase of the crypto industry’s evolution is underway with more participation from institutions [...] More needs to be done from a market infrastructure point of view to make this group of investors feel comfortable joining the crypto ecosystem.”
Institutional players greatly contributed to the growth of the crypto market in 2020. Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy’s initial $425 million Bitcoin (BTC) bet and subsequent crypto purchases last year along with digital asset manager Grayscale Investments constantly increasing its assets under management led BTC to all-time high prices.
The ensuing rally for many tokens resulted in the total cryptocurrency market capitalization breaking $1 trillion for the first time in early January.