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Nov. 12, 2018
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Large institutions are currently not too inclined to invest in digital assets, said Nikolay Storonsky, a former trader of Credit Suisse Group AG and fintech entrepreneur. His London-based banking startup Revolut Ltd. allows retail users to speculate on tokens, including bitcoin and ethereum, and is now valued at more than $1 billion.

Storonsky’s comments made at Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon echo the BlackRock Inc.’s Larry Fink, who earlier said this year that his company’s customers have no interest in cryptocurrency. This will complicate the task for large Wall Street banks, which are developing tools tied to digital assets, and considering the possibility of trading and storing cryptocurrencies.

Storonsky explained:

“Unless these big institutional investors and hedge funds move heavily into the crypto world I just don’t think banks will move because they simply try to make money from their clients. There is no interest from big institutional investors so far.’’

Thus, Morgan Stanley is preparing to launch bitcoin swaps, Goldman Sachs is considering providing custodial services for crypto funds, and Citigroup has developed receipts for digital assets.

This year, the Bitcoin rate has lowered by more than half its peak value, while the rate of other tokens has dropped even more. The volume of crypto trading on Revolut is 20% of the figures in December when Bitcoin reached its record level.

However, the year 2019 is likely to improve the state of the crypto market, said the CEO of Revolut. He said that Wall Street won’t be the main beneficiary. According to Storonsky, banks won’t be able to withstand competition with fintech projects.

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