In the midst of the anxiety over crypto U.S. regulations and the renewed bear market, I received an email from a digital assets team at a major international bank. It was a contrarian indication and a reminder to not solely look at this industry through a U.S.-centric lens.

The subject of the article was: “Major study shows pension funds, other institutional investors, and wealth managers are optimistic about digital assets, and plan to invest.”

Was this from Bizarro Cryptoland? I immediately thought of that Seinfeld Episode where Bizzaro was described as a parallel universe with everything the opposite to what is happening in this one.

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I’ve found that, when recruiting investment staffers to speak at our Consensus Conference, many are afraid to show their interest publicly, for fear of being targeted by Elizabeth Warren’s “anti-crypto army.”

But, no. This is a legitimate survey with some important findings. . (It was written by Sam Reynolds of CoinDesk.)

Laser Digital, Nomura’s digital assets team, conducted the survey. Nomura is a household name in Wall Street, and a leader in Japanese finance. The team stated that its survey covered “pension fund, wealth managers, hedge funds and investments funds, insurance asset manager and sovereign wealth funds), who collectively managed around $4.956 billion in assets.

Then it presented some stunning numbers:

  • Digital assets are a good investment opportunity for 96% of investors.
  • 91% of respondents believe that digital assets can help to create “all-weather” income strategies, allowing them to “cope both with inflation risk and debasement risks of fiat currency.”
  • 82% of respondents are optimistic about digital assets in general, and Bitcoin and Ethereum specifically, over the next year.
  • Only 3% of respondents have a negative outlook on the sector, while 15% are neutral.

The summary acknowledged that there are challenges in implementation, and highlighted, as expected, regulation as the most important one. This is an incredibly positive response from a sector that does not like to publicly express its opinions on crypto.

What I learned from this article:

  1. The institutions have more conviction and a better understanding of crypto than ever. The fact that respondents have firmly taken positions on this sector shows how many people are now educated and aware. This is good.
  2. It was a study of global scope. This study included institutions with a wide range of diversity, both in terms of structure, ownership and geographical location. This gives a broader view of the industry than hearing directly from Wall Street fund managers and banks.
  3. In part, the diametric views of crypto in financial centers around the world are due to a more positive approach from governments in those places. Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore are financial centers with different capital managers and institutions. Each of these financial hubs has taken deliberate measures to create a regulatory framework for digital assets, which, while establishing compliance requirements varying in strictness, is intended to allow innovation. In the U.S. we’re stuck with turf battles between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as between Democrats and Republicans.
  4. The pendulum is swinging back to integrating blockchain into the financial system. This includes a focus on tokenizing real-world assets. Many institutions have assets that are ripe for this. It is noteworthy that respondents to the survey also expressed an interest in bitcoins as a hedge for fiat currency risk.
  5. The anxiety in the U.S. is temporary. The U.S. cannot afford to remain isolated when the rest of world is rushing in.

So, cheer up. There is a way to get out of this.

Ben Schiller is the editor.