Kyle Samani, a prominent cryptocurrency investor and a managing partner at Multicoin Capital, believes the executive team at ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), simply does not understand Bitcoin, yet.
On Friday, NYSE, Starbucks, and Microsoft officially announced their finalized plans to establish a digital asset exchange and an infrastructure to improve the usability of crypto. The global cryptocurrency community, as well as the traditional finance sector, praised the efforts of the three corporations to institutionalize cryptocurrencies by creating a better ecosystem for investors, users, and merchants.
In an interview with Fortune, ICE Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher discussed the efforts of the joint partnership to focus on the development of a tangible infrastructure around cryptocurrencies. Sprecher emphasized that Bitcoin has the potential to become the first worldwide currency, due to its decentralized nature and consensus-based money.
”Bitcoin would greatly simplify the movement of global money, It has the potential to become the first worldwide currency,” Sprecher said.
Later on in the interview, Sprecher offered a statement which directly contradicted his previous optimistic assertions on cryptocurrencies. Sprecher claimed that digital currencies need to run on an established infrastructure with trust and rules that the traditional finance sector has employed for decades. He stated:
“Bitcoin can’t survive as a rogue idea. To evolve, the cryptocurrencies need to run on established infrastructure. They need the trust and rules that have been built into our financial system for many years. They need the kind of trust that the Big Board represents.”
Cryptocurrencies undoubtedly require an established infrastructure such as secure wallets, exchanges, and payment processing networks to ensure millions of individuals and businesses can use digital assets to send and receive money with ease.
Companies like Coinbase and Blockchain have developed unique and robust frameworks over the past five years to simplify the otherwise difficult process of sending and receiving money with major cryptocurrencies and enable users to store cryptocurrencies in a highly secure environment.
Samani, who has led Multicoin Capital to cooperate with Coinbase in strengthening cryptocurrency-based custodian solutions to help institutional investors enter the digital asset market, tweeted:
“I’m all for helping institutions buy crypto. The leadership at ICE/Bakkt just does not get it.”
How Will Crypto Bring Institutional Investors on Board?
In early July, Coinbase, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency wallet and brokerage firm, released Coinbase Custody, the industry’s first cryptocurrency custodianship.
At the time, Samani said that institutional investors were reluctant towards investing in the cryptocurrency market due to the lack of custodian solutions.
“There are many investors where custody is the last barrier. Over the next year, the market will realize that safekeeping is a solved problem. This will release a large capital wave,” Samani said.
It is not realistic to expect the same level of trust and control employed by the traditional finance sector in the cryptocurrency market. But, it is possible to implement sufficient transaction monitoring, internal management, audit, insurance, and security systems to make institutional investors and retail traders feel comfortable investing in an emerging asset class.