Institutional investors have not been disappointed by the current crypto winter and have maintained their interest in blockchain and digital assets, according to megabank State Street.
Irfan Ahmad, Asia-Pacific digital head of banking for State Street Digital’s crypto unit, spoke to Australian news site Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on September 11. he emphasized that despite extreme volatility during June and July, the firm’s institutional clients continued to move in the sector.
“During the June and July period, when things really picked up in terms of activity, we saw institutional clients necessarily double down, but it didn’t really deter them from making strategic bets on the asset class itself.”
Three crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from Cosmos Asset Management and 21Shares launched on Cboe Australia in May, while asset manager Monochrome recently received approval to launch the country’s first Australian licensed spot crypto ETF in August.
State Street is the fund manager for the Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF in particular, and Ahmad told SMH that there are more crypto products coming to market in Australia in the “very near future” but did not outline any specific names.
“Obviously our clients have been talking to us more pragmatically about how they might bring products to market or what our capabilities might be in the future to help them bring those products to market,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and Australian banking giants such as ANZ and NAB are primarily focused on stablecoins and traditional asset tokenization rather than specifically into crypto investments.
The Commonwealth Bank had a short-lived play with crypto trading services May for an indefinite period due to regulatory uncertainty.
Overseas, major US institutions like BlackRock have been playing serious crypto games lately. Last month, the $10 trillion asset manager teamed up with Coinbase to give institutional clients direct exposure to cryptocurrencies and launched a private spot bitcoin (BTC) trust.
Global investment bank Citigroup also hired two key executives in August, Ryan Rugg and David Cunningham, as part of the Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) division that oversees its institutional cryptocurrency offerings.
Related: The Australian Department of Finance is consulting the public on the exclusion of bitcoins from foreign exchange tax
Rugg has signed on as global head of digital assets for TTS, while Cunningham has been hired as a director and strategic partner for digital asset development at the firm.
Recently on September 7, Switzerland digital asset banking platform SEBA Bank Launches Institutional Ether (ETH) betting service to meet the growing demand for the income asset before the merger.