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24 July 2019

Divergent views on digital assets and cryptocurrencies: A webinar for institutional investors

By Shana Bruner

You’d be forgiven if you are feeling a bit whipsawed by the vastly divergent opinions on digital assets and cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, you have no less than Warren Buffet calling Bitcoin a “gambling device,” associated with “a lot of frauds.” On the other hand, Anthony Tu-Sekine, head of blockchain and cryptocurrencies at law firm Seward & Kissel, told us in a blog last year that digital assets hold “potential for a lot of alpha that is not correlated to any other investment class.” Today, you have lawmakers in both the US and the UK taking Facebook to task over the launch of its own cryptocurrency, Libra, and raising the specter of massive criminal fraud. Conversely, we see a venerable institution like JP Morgan Chase rolling out its own JPM Coin and getting favorable interest from corporate clients.

Then there is the investment track record of Bitcoin, by no means the only cryptocurrency out there but certainly the best known and a bellwether for digital assets in general. Bitcoin has taken investors on a stomach-churning roller coaster ride over the past year, from boom to bubble to bust and back to boom. Yet despite such volatility, in a recent survey of 400 institutional investors by Fidelity Investments, some 22% of respondents had some exposure to digital assets and 40% said they were open to future investments in digital assets over the next five years.

Let’s try to bring things into balance. On July 30, Anthony will join Daniel Nikci of Applied Fund Solutions and SS&C Advent’s own Nick Nolan for a webinar exploring the question, “Are digital assets becoming traditional?” Their goal is to demystify this emerging asset class for institutional investors and asset managers. With compliance and custodial frameworks starting to take shape, the digital market is clearly maturing. Our panel of experts will discuss objectively the state of digital assets today and where we are on the path to mainstream institutionalization.

They will also address the question of technological readiness to manage digital asset portfolios at scale. At SS&C, for example, we are receiving a steady stream of inquiries about crypto capabilities across all our lines of business. This is a strong indicator of client interest and we have already begun to adapt several solutions to this new market.

The early exuberance over the emergence of the crypto market is fading. The time has come to focus on the sustainable growth of digital assets and a realistic assessment of their tangible benefits. Join us for this enlightening webinar on Tuesday, July 30, 11:00 AM Eastern time, 8:00 AM Pacific.