A potential move by global brokerages to offer products around cryptocurrencies could have a big impact on the wider market, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote.
In an Oct. 16 research note entitled "Introducing cryptocurrencies – what are they good for?", the analysts tackle bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and XRP. The note both covers the basics of the market and dives more specifically into the growing galaxy of open blockchain networks in operation today.
Notably, the report touches on the possible factors that could shape the cryptocurrency market's future progression – including financial products based on the tech.
On this point, the bank's analysts suggest that a move by brokerages to begin offering such services to their clients could affect both the overall liquidity of the market as well as the market capitalization for the relevant cryptocurrencies.
"The coin universe is dynamic and innovative and volatile; while a true value for cryptocurrencies may be impossible to assess, one factor which we believe could affect their liquidity and market capitalisation would be if one or more global broker/dealers decided to offer institutional-like products," they wrote.
The past year has seen a number of high-profile efforts to build cryptocurrency-tied investment products, and firms like CBOE have described plans to take part in what is still a nascent ecosystem. Even so, regulators in the U.S. have reacted coolly to such proposals thus far.
And according to the Bank of America analysts, it remains far from certain how the market will develop in the months to come.
"[A]t present, these impacts are too far off, and too unpredictable, to form part of an estimate or an investment recommendation," they wrote.
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