The CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency asset manager reckons that crypto as an asset class is ‘here to stay’ — Here are 12 of his best quotes
Business Insider India
Grayscale InvestmentsCEO Michael Sonnenshein said that financial assets like cryptocurrencies only come along once in a generation.
- Now that the ‘genie’ is out of the bottle, Sonnenshein believes multiple digital currencies will grow and thrive alongside each other in the future.
- According to him, regulation will be good and validating towards cryptocurrencies as an asset class.
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“Crypto is kind of analogous to… The genie is out of the bottle, right,” he told Business Insider during a Twitter Live.
.@ashwinraghunath in conversation with @Grayscale's Michael Sonnenshein (@Sonnenshein) & @WazirXIndia's Siddharth M… https://t.co/PeIXYnDHPt— Business Insider India (@BiIndia) 1624620600000
Grayscale has more than $30.4 billion in assets under management as of July 1 with the bulk of the basket consisting of Bitcoin. And, Sonnenshein, who is at the helm of the company behind the world’s biggest crypto fund, is betting big. He believes that cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. “The idea of decentralised currency is something that’s here to stay, it’s an idea that has captivated investors all around the world,” he said.
Sonnenshein argues that crypto is in no way a “missed bus.” According to him, new financial assets are only created once in a generation, and cryptocurrencies are still in their nascent stages. “For an investor, it's about the value that is being created,” added WazirX co-founder and chief operations officer (COO), Siddharth Menon.
Here are Sonnenshein’s 12 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
- Most would argue that crypto is kind of analogous to… The genie is out of the bottle, right? It’s here to stay. The idea of decentralised currencies is something that’s here to stay. It is certainly something that has captured the attention of people all around the world.
- From the investors we speak to, in their minds, there’s no question that cryptocurrency as an asset class is here to stay. In that sense, they want to make sure that they’re paying attention to the asset class, they understand it and then they’re finding the proper allocation for it.
- When you zoom out, cryptocurrencies really only got their start in the last 10-12 years. New asset classes are not born every day or every year. They’re usually a once-in-a-generation opportunity. So, if people remember how early days it actually is for this asset class, there’s still the potential for a lot more use cases to be developed, more individuals and investors to get involved, and a lot more utilities to be unlocked around this asset class for sure.
- Sometimes people dismiss Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because of accessibility. When you look at places like India, you have Paytm and all these other ways that value is moved around. Whereas, Bitcoin is very different. The way digital currencies are moved around is over different means — over these secure networks, that require a little more technological know-how. As the asset class develops, the ease with which individuals can move Bitcoin around is only going to get easier.
- El Salvador is just the first of many governments that hasn’t done the best job of controlling their currency or have had to rely on reserve currencies like the US dollar — that could start looking at Bitcoin and other value mechanisms to help their citizens participate in their economies.
- There is a very low barrier to entry to create new cryptocurrencies. And, that’s why we have so many of them today. We certainly do believe in a world where multiple cryptocurrencies coexist with each other. If you look at gold versus silver versus platinum — all part of the precious metals family with different use cases, prices and addressable markets. Similarly, we’re going to see something that looks like that around digital currencies where multiple digital currencies will thrive and grow together, but suit different use cases.
- We’ve seen both accommodative and prohibitive policies around digital currencies, a lot of that has been rooted in knee-jerk reactions to try and get ahead of what may be going on — to stifle some of the enthusiasm and excitement.
- It’s a very impactful idea — the idea of people using currency that’s not created by the government — so, I’m not surprised to see some of these prohibitive policies. But, ultimately, I know, some of these countries, which are more forward thinking — which want to embrace technology and innovation — are going to come around digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.
- A lot of people still think that digital currencies, or Bitcoin, is a good use for illicit activities. In actuality, it’s probably the worst mechanism that you could use for illicit activity. Any transaction you undertake in Bitcoin, it’s going to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.
- A lot of investors have dismissed cryptocurrency because they don’t understand it. Assets like Bitcoin aren’t necessarily cash-flowing assets like they may see when they invest in common stock. It doesn’t really fit squarely in as a commodity or a currency. And, so, it blends a lot of concepts that investors know.
- It would not surprise me to see folks continue to think about their local currencies and what that may do to their ability to save money, pass money to next-generation, finance a business, finance education, etc — I would not discount them looking at Bitcoin and other assets to help them become a part of the financial inclusion around that.
- US regulators are looking for a certain level of maturity within the crypto market — a market that can be void of manipulation and where they can have surveillance sharing agreements in place. And, ultimately more regulation will be good and validating towards this asset class.
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