4 January 2023 Article

Cryptoassets: Beyond the Hype

  1. Olivier Fines, CFA
  2. Stephen Deane, CFA
Based on interviews of investment professionals and crypto experts, the authors go beyond the hype to understand the state of crypto investing and the implications for investors and policymakers.
Cryptoassets: Beyond the Hype Read Report Cryptoassets for Fiduciaries and Investors Read the Recommendations Cryptoassets for Policymakers and Regulators Read the Recommendations Olivier Fines Interview on CNBC - Squawk Box Europe Watch Now

Hear from the Authors

Key messages include: 

  • The need for crypto investors to ground their decisions in an investment case,
  • The need, therefore, to examine crypto use cases, especially in the absence of cash flows, 
  • The need for fiduciaries to think carefully about their duty of prudence in light of the specific characteristics of cryptoassets, 
  • The need to look beyond the hype and to distinguish the disruptive potential of crypto technology from the value of individual cryptoassets,
  • The need to ask what decentralization means in the crypto ecosystem and the conundrum this presents for accountability and regulation; and
  • The need to establish a strong regulatory framework, for the benefit of crypto providers and users alike. 
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Report Overview

This research paper offers a dispassionate look at cryptoassets from the point of view investment professionals. The paper distills research interviews conducted over the past year with a variety of investment practitioners and crypto experts—some enthusiastic, some skeptical, many cautious but curious. We have sought to go beyond the hype and understand what investment professionals are thinking and doing. 

The paper offers recommendations for policymakers as well as recommendations for investors, while taking no categorical position for or against investing in crypto. Instead, we offer a framework of key issues to consider before investing in crypto, including: valuation, fiduciary duty, custody, and safekeeping of client assets. We believe the market events that have affected cryptoasset markets, including the sudden collapse of FTX, reinforce themes that our interlocutors previously stressed to us and that the paper highlights. 

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