More financial institutes are offering crypto-services, survey shows – National

Investing in cryptocurrencies is picking up steam, according to a new survey, even in the face of potential volatility and massive fraud that has been uncovered.

According to the survey by KPMG, which was released Wednesday, 22 per cent more financial services organizations offered “cryptoasset products” and services to clients in 2023 than in 2021, while 26 per cent more institutional investors included cryptoassets in their portfolio in the same timeframe.

Half of respondents in financial services said their organizations were actively offering at least one type of cryptoasset product or service to clients, up from 41 per cent in 2021, and 39 per cent of institutional investors said they have direct or indirect exposure to cryptoassets, up from 31 per cent in 2021.

Out of institutional investors, 75 per cent said they owned cryptoassets directly, up from 29 per cent in 2021.

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Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison for $8B fraud related to FTX cryptocurrency exchange

The survey got responses from 65 entities, 31 of which were institutional investors, such as hedge funds, pension funds, high net worth individuals and venture capital firms, while 34 were financial services organizations.

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Financial services organizations have upped their crypto-offerings, according to the survey, and had an average of two to three services in 2023 compared to one to two services in 2021. Eighty per cent said client demand for cryptoasset services was a major factor in expanding offerings.

Kunal Bhasin, a partner at KPMG specializing in cryptoassets, told Global News that growing demand for cryptocurrencies is coming mostly from institutional investors who are looking to get into the asset for the long run rather than make a quick buck. He said that from what he’s seen, the clients are the ones that are demanding involvement in cryptocurrencies.

That could be due to the rising value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which has seen significant volatility in its price but also saw its price go up 150 per cent in 2023 and is up 50 per cent so far in 2024, according to KPMG.

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According to the survey, 67 per cent of investors said the maturing crypto market and security measures in place for digital assets have been key reasons they have first invested in cryptoassets, and 58 per cent said their involvement was due to strong market performance.

The growing involvement in cryptocurrencies comes after the industry has seen major shakeups due to uncovered fraud, namely that of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto-trading platform. Bankman-Fried was convicted of stealing more than $8 billion from customers and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in March.

Bhasin said that the industry has emerged from the scandal stronger and new frameworks and risk management strategies have been built into dealing with the commodity.

He did say that major institutions did take a step back after the fraud was uncovered, but now they are back in the game and their involvement has given crypto a sense of maturity that has encouraged others to join in as well.

“These events have had a cleansing effect and people are starting to call out these kinds of frauds much more up front whenever they see something like that happening,” he said. “Crypto is not going away.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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