Institutional Investments in Bitcoin Creating Very Different Market Than 2017, Says Fidelity Digital Assets President

The president of Fidelity Digital Assets is offering his take on the state of the crypto markets.

In a new interview with CNBC, Tom Jessop says he’s optimistic that the incoming Biden administration will support the growth of the crypto industry.

“Given chairman-elect Gensler’s experience in the space and what he’s been doing in recent years, I think it paints a more generally constructive attitude or picture in terms of what we might expect going forward. I would note that we saw some fairly interesting and good regulatory developments last year.

You look at the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) and some of the guidance they’ve given banks around access to the asset class where you are participating in some of these networks and more recently and perhaps less publicized, some requests for comment from the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) around a better definition around what it means to be a custodian in this space and even some questions about what it would mean for broker-dealers to transact in tokenized securities. So even predating this news, we’ve started to see more constructive engagement with regulators and we think that will persist into the new year.” 

As for the price of Bitcoin, Jessop says he thinks BTC is in a period of healthy consolidation.

When asked if institutional investments in the top cryptocurrency could help prevent a repeat of 2017 wherein BTC approached an all-time high followed by a two-year bear market and 80% decline, Jessop says things may be different this time around.

“This is a healthy phase of consolidation for the market. Given that this market is still very much in its adolescence, it’s hard to attribute price activity to specific factors… Our clients, institutions that work with us, have been steady net buyers throughout this entire period and we continue to see strong demand among institutions for access to the asset class. So that’s really our perspective on what’s happened recently…

I wouldn’t rule it out [a future 80% drop in price], but I think we’re in a very different market now than the one we experienced in 2017. I think the composition of investor interest has changed dramatically. We’ve moved from 2017, a very retail-driven frenzy into the final weeks of that year, and now we’re seeing much broader-based institutional adoption.”

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