The Institutional Era of Crypto Brings Fresh Innovation

After the scandals and regulatory headaches of the last market cycle, crypto is growing and embracing the needs of institutions entering the digital assets space.

AccessTimeIconMar 20, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 20, 2024 at 4:18 p.m. UTC

In the wake of Binance’s $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators last November, a shift is underway in the institutional adoption of digital assets. We are now in a fresh market cycle and we’re seeing innovative custody solutions and many market opportunities.

The collaboration between Binance and Sygnum to introduce a tri-party agreement for off-exchange custody exemplifies this shift. This arrangement, by decoupling custody and trading, helps mitigate exchange risk and opens accessibility and security for institutional investors venturing into the domain of digital assets. (Under the agreement, larger traders on Binance can now custody their assets at third-party institutions like banks.)

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  • The essence of this transformation lies in innovation — both in the technological infrastructure supporting digital assets and in the financial strategies that institutions can now employ. Crypto quant funds, once the domain of a few, are becoming increasingly mainstream, accessible, and attractive to institutions. This is because diversifying portfolios and engaging with proven financial technology in a new market environment through crypto quantitative hedge funds works. These innovations offer institutional allocators the ability to gain diversified digital asset exposure with one investment.

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    Amphibian Capital offers USD, BTC, and ETH denominated funds giving investors the opportunity to maintain long exposure to crypto with disciplined and resilient risk management measures in place.

    The rise in exchange volumes across digital assets signifies growing interest and growing confidence in the infrastructure and regulatory frameworks surrounding digital assets. Institutions, once wary of the nascent and unregulated nature of digital assets, are now stepping into this space, encouraged by clearer regulatory guidance and more sophisticated financial instruments.

    Just as institutional quant hedge funds carved out strategies that generated hundreds of billions in traditional equity markets, we are seeing a paradigm shift in crypto. The complexity and volatility inherent in digital assets markets, far from deterring institutional investors, present unique opportunities for quant strategies that thrive on such conditions. These strategies, powered by advanced algorithms, comprehensive data analytics and machine learning, are beginning to unlock the potential for methodical returns in crypto, much as they did in traditional equity markets.

    The evolution of custody and trading practices reflects a broader industry trend towards integrating technological innovations to address the financial sector's complex challenges. The collaboration between legacy financial institutions and digital assets platforms in such initiatives highlights the gradual merging of digital assets with the global financial framework.

    The introduction of a tri-party custodial solution by Binance and Sygnum signifies a pivotal development in the institutional embrace of digital assets. It tackles fundamental concerns around security and risk management, making digital assets a more enticing option for institutional investors.

    With the advent of crypto quant funds and enhanced custodial services, the digital asset market is becoming increasingly accessible and appealing for institutional investment, heralding a significant period of growth and integration of digital assets into mainstream financial portfolios.

    Edited by Benjamin Schiller.

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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Todd Bendell

    Todd is the Co-Founder and Managing General Partner at Amphibian Capital.