In a recent interview, Henry Arslanian gave his opinion on the future of crypto markets and why he believes that more institutional investors are about to arrive.
As 2019 is approaching its end, many are looking back to what the crypto industry has accomplished this year. However, a topic that is just as interesting, if not more, is what the digital asset market will look like in 2020.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, PwC’s Asian fintech and crypto leader and chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Henry Arslanian, attempted to answer these questions.
Arslanian started with the topic of Libra, stating that Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency is what led central banks to become more interested in crypto. According to him, banks were very slow in their reaction towards virtual currencies. However, these days, over 70% of central banks around the world are looking into crypto.
He believes that the following months will bring a major change when it comes to big, transnational organizations showing interest in crypto. China is a major topic of discussion in and out of the industry right now, as it is getting ready to launch its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which will be the first of its kind.
In fact, even Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, pointed out that China should be one of the reasons why the US should act quickly in regard to crypto. He believes that the US needs to see more progress with cryptocurrencies. In the meantime, Libra is supposed to bring a big change to the world of international transactions.
Arslanian notes that there is around $500 billion that gets transacted per year across borders. The majority of that is being sent by more than 250 million migrants, and he expects Libra to have a major role in this space.
Recent Developments Will Attract Institutions to crypto
When asked about potential implications for Bitcoin and other older cryptos, Arslanian said that “Bitcoin is still the mother of all cryptocurrencies.” Meanwhile, he points out that Libra still relies on fiat currencies as underlying assets. BTC, on the other hand, is decentralized. As for other crypto assets, they all have their own use cases and purposes, which is why they are likely to keep existing side by side.
He also touched upon the topic of taxation, stating that there has been a lot of regulatory clarity on this front in the last 24 months. The IRS took the lead and can be credited for bringing a lot more clarity w.r.t crypto taxes in the last several months.
As a direct consequence, Arslanian expects that more institutions will start getting involved in 2020 and further on. However, another reason for their involvement is the fact that institutional clients are developing a greater interest in crypto.
The digital asset space got a lot of regulated solutions, such as crypto custody, funds, and regulated instruments, such as futures. These instruments will allow traditional players to get in touch with the crypto ecosystem in a way that is more familiar to them.
At the same time, Arslanian says that there is a huge number of digital and virtual banks that are emerging.
The battleground for virtual banks is happening in Asia, noting that 8 of them were approved by Hong Kong’s central bank.
Finally, he touched upon the value of virtual assets within video games. While there is a danger that they could be used for money laundering, there are also numerous opportunities in the sector. Players could use unique items within the games, including weapons, skins, and more, own them, trace them, trade them, and know that they are unique.
Do you think that 2020 will be the year of institutions rapidly entering the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments below.
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