The cryptocurrency market has received a lot of backlash from different sectors of the financial world, with many calling Bitcoin [BTC] a failure and labeling the digital assets industry a ‘bust’. The latest episode in this chapter is the tussle between Asiff Hirji, President and COO of Coinbase and The New York Times.
A New York Times article titled ‘Amid Bitcoin Uncertainty, ‘the Smart Money Knows That Crypto Is Not Ready,’ spoke about the supposed failure of the cryptocurrency market to draw many institutional investors to its fold. The basic gist of the article could be deciphered from an excerpt that read,
“Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts had hoped that the entrance of Wall Street institutions would give them legitimacy with traditional investors. But their struggles — and waning interest — illustrate the difficulty in bringing Bitcoin from the fringes of the internet into the mainstream financial world.”
In response to the article, Asiff Hirji stated that it was ironical since the article was published the same day as when Bitcoin broke the $5000 barrier after having enjoyed a sudden spike of 15 percent. Hirji further commented,
“Crypto is more than ready. @coinbase offers a scale, insured, Qualified Custodian; the deepest compliant pool of liquidity and agency only execution (we do not trade against our clients). Smart money is already in crypto.”
The New York Times further spoke about specific examples of institutions facing problems when entering the cryptocurrency realm, picking out the examples of Goldman Sachs and ICE’s Bakkt. Goldman Sachs had initially shelved its idea of opening a cryptocurrency trading desk, which was later overturned. There are reports that the delay was caused by tepid user interest, over and above other issues. Another giant that was supposed to change the institutional sphere in crypto was Bakkt, the launch of which has been delayed multiple times due to regulatory issues.
As of press time, the organization has not given a solid launch date yet, with the last update being given by Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, who stated,
“With ongoing reports of crypto market manipulation and security concerns, the need for the solutions we’re building at Bakkt is more critical than ever. It illustrates why regulated custody and market-based solutions for digital assets are at the core of our work to address risks that have discouraged many from interacting with digital assets.”
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