Financial leaders across investment spectrum touting crypto potential


JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) may have taken the crypto world by surprise with its sudden “JPM Coin” introduction. The flurry of press headlines about this internal token/blockchain project have been a distraction, but if you peel back the layers of this circus sideshow, you would discover a host of other investment industry leaders touting the long-term potential of cryptos. The latest titan to be interviewed by Bloomberg has been Mike Novogratz, founder and chief executive officer at Galaxy Digital. Mike, a billionaire and former hedge-fund manager, shared his reviews of the crypto industry in a televised segment of Bloomberg.

According to one recap of the Bloomberg interview:

The main focus of the interview was the involvement of major institutions in the crypto space. Novogratz stated that the architecture that institutions need to feel comfortable investing in digital assets has already been put in place. He added that they are already starting to enter the space through venture funds now that the retail frenzy has ended, specifically mentioning Yale University and that where they go, people follow.

Mike spoke to publicly known initiatives related to Fidelity Investments, Bakkt, and ErisX, noting that many institutional investors are sitting on the sidelines and waiting for these projects to reach fruition before taking the plunge. Other firms have not held back, some acquiring positions in the flourishing OTC market or by participating in private venture capital offerings. He has also been working with Goldman Sachs to grease the skids, so to speak, by offering a $100 million insurance fund for the industry to protect investors.

Will the proverbial floodgates soon open? Mike said there will not be a re-visit to 2017 valuation levels, but demand could test the $8,000 level by the end of the year. Prices may grind their way up at a more gradual level:

If there are 118 elements on the periodic table only one gold is valuable just because it is a store of value. Bitcoin is going to be digital gold, a place where you have sovereign money. It is not US money, it is not Chinese money, [Bitcoin] is sovereign which as a currency should cost a lot.

Recently, two Fairfax County Pension Funds decided to tiptoe into the market by being the “anchor investors in a new $40 million venture-capital fund”. Katherine Molnar, chief investment officer of one of the funds explained that Bitcoin was an “emerging opportunity” with an “attractive asymmetric return profile.” Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner at Morgan Creek Capital, echoed her sentiments: “There’s a belief in the institutional world that if the industry will be around for a long time, it will be very valuable.” The top 300 funds in the U.S. manage portfolio assets in excess of $6 trillion.

Other positive comments have kept coming, too. Tim Draper, an American venture capital investor and founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), stated on a FoxBusiness News segment that:

Bitcoin is the most secure currency right now and advises every day people to invest a little into the movement before it’s too late”. Draper has invested “millions” of his self-acquired billion-dollar nest egg into cryptocurrency projects over the years, claiming that: “I thought the Internet was super exciting, but this is going to completely change everything and the government itself is going to change.

To Draper’s last point, Terry Duffy, CEO of leading derivative market CME Group (NASDAQ:CME), has gone on the record with one final sobering statement:

The key to the success of any currency, whether it’s fiat or crypto, is going to be associated with the government. So I think the government needs to be more involved.

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