Institutional adoption of digital assets is “moving very, very fast,” and much faster than the rate nascent industries ordinarily develop at, says Coinbase Senior Advisor John D’Agostino.
In an Oct. 18 interview with SALT moderated by Anthony Scaramucci, D’Agostino said that new asset classes often take time to develop, as “institutional inertia is a very real thing” and “there’s a lot of switching costs associated with adding new assets” but that this hasn’t been the case with crypto.
“So for me, for someone who spent 15 years trying to get commodities to be mainstream, it’s actually moving fast. But I do understand why somebody in the heat of the moment feels it’s glacial. But for institutions I think it’s moving very, very fast.”
As for what may have slowed institutional adoption, D’Agostino said that U.S. regulators have been “complacent” to the point that it harmed “the growth of the technology.”
But interestingly, D’Agostino sees the “bifurcated regulatory regime” between the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) “as a good thing” because “nobody fights over something that is going to go away.”
“The fact that crypto is being used as a bargaining chip by the heads of regulatory agencies [and] the fact that these public announcements are being made to push a positioning around which regulatory agency will be in control is an indication that this is a vitally important piece of market structure.”
Related: Wealth managers and VCs are helping drive institutional crypto adoption — Wave Financial execs
D’Agostino was adamant that a crypto-related Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) will eventually be approved, despite the SEC’s ongoing rejections.
“I think that’s going to change. Despite the delay, an ETF is inevitable. I can’t tell you when it’s going to happen. But I know at some point it’s going to happen.”
Co-founder and CEO of Singaporean crypto exchange Coinhako Yusho Liu recently told Cointelegraph that he expected institutional interest to keep growing as the industry matures.
“We believe institutional flows into the market will continue to grow and serve as a crucial driver for future crypto innovation and adoption,” he said.