The Winklevoss twins’ family office, Winklevoss Capital, has made a statement regarding 2019 and the role of institutional investors in crypto. According to Sterling Witzke, a partner at the office, this year will not be a momentous year when we see institutional investors make the plunge; rather they are more likely to just dip their toes in the water.
Witzke made her remarks during an interview with Cointelegraph at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland on 17th January. She said that the events of 2017 when crypto soared, gave a “skewed perception” of how institutional investors might behave. She said: “Because the end of 2017 was so crazy, people tend to think the space moves at lightning speed [..] At the level of underlying [tech] development it [often] does […] but I think it takes a while for institutions to get comfortable. There needs to be better custody, healthy debt and credit markets to get [them] really excited. So I don’t think 2019 will necessarily be the year.”
She attributes the caution to a lack of regulatory certainty, at least in the US, and worries about security. The Winklevoss’s Gemini exchange recently launched an ad campaign that focuses on the need for sound regulations and compliance, using a “crypto without chaos” slogan. Although this sentiment runs counter to some crypto community opinions, Witzke told Cointelegraph that crypto consumers deserve the same protections as traditional investors. “The distinction comes,” she said, “between the protocol layer and the companies and applications that are built on top of it. At the protocol level, it’s absolutely correct you don’t need more regulations or rules, because those are already built in.”
There are those who think that institutional investors are what is needed for the crypto industry to realize its potential as a full-fledged asset class, including auditor KPMG and those within the crypto industry.