- Fidelity’s head of digital assets believes that institutional adoption of Bitcoin and other digital assets is set to accelerate.
- He argues that near-zero interest rates and easy-money policies are driving investors to Bitcoin and other cryptoassets.
According to Tom Jessop, head of Fidelity Digital Assets,adoption has reached a “tipping point” thanks to an environment of “unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus.”
Speaking at the Investing in Crypto virtual event series hosted by MarketWatch and Barron’s, Jessop pointed to “a host of reasons” for the adoption of digital assets to proceed “at an accelerated pace.”
These include near-zero interest rates and easy-money policies—something the US Federal Reserve, as recently reaffirmed by its chairman Jerome Powell, has committed to until the economy has recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not going to get out of this stimulated environment anytime soon,” Jessop said. “I think we’ve reached a tipping point.”
According to Jessop, these measures, while considered necessary by the Fed, are driving investors to Bitcoin and other assets—which they see as alternatives to scant yields offered by bonds and other “richly priced” investment vehicles.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has seen a 5% drop in price in recent days and is currently changing hands in the region of $57,700. However, since the start of the year, it has risen by as much as 95% on the back of institutional investment from firms including Tesla and MicroStrategy.
Jessop sees the pandemic as the catalyst for this wave of institutional adoption, having contributed to “an environment where we’ve seen unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus from central banks and governments.”
One tipping point after another
This isn’t the first time that high-profile organizations have conceded that Bitcoin is set to play an important role in the global economy. Last month, multinational investment bank Citibank released a report entitled “Bitcoin: At the Tipping Point”, in which it said that the flagship cryptocurrency could not only achieve mainstream adoption, but may also be considered a facilitator of future global trade.
Earlier this year, BNY Mellon–the oldest bank in the US–announced plans to store and manage Bitcoin on behalf of its clients, with Guy Hirsch, U.S. Managing Director at eToro, telling Decrypt that this move “feels like a tipping point in the market.”
Experts, however, agree that there are challenges to overcome before Bitcoin can reach true mainstream adoption—chief among which are its volatility and custody.
Regulation of digital assets is another area that industry players are paying increased attention to. Fidelity itself recently joined forces with Square,and Paradigm to establish the Crypto Council for Innovation. The initiative is aimed at helping policymakers, regulators, and the general public to better understand the benefits of cryptocurrencies.