Bill Barhydt, the chief executive officer (CEO) of multi-currency wallet Abra, recently spoke to Business Insider about his views on the crypto market. Per his words, the market will boom this year once large institutional investors jump in.
Speaking to the publication, Barhydt revealed that he believes wealthy investors are just watching the space from the sidelines, and will move in later this year. He said:
“I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose. Once the floodgates are opened, they’re opened.”
Recently the cryptocurrency ecosystem entered a bearish period that’s been driving the price of most cryptocurrencies down. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, dropped from over $19,000 in mid-December to little over $8,000 at press time. In a few months, the market lost over $400 billion.
The slump coincided with a decline in Google search queries for bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related terms. As covered by Core Media, there’s a correlation between bitcoin’s price and search interest.
Despite this, Barhydt restated he’s confident prices will recover later this year, as hedge fund and asset managers will soon start dipping their toes in the crypto space. He pointed out that, in Japan, financial institutions already dove into crypto, and claims this is part of what helped prices surge late last year.
“There really is zero large-scale institutional money from the west in crypto right now. That is happening in Japan. Once a large sizable chunk of Western institutional money starts to come in — watch out.”
Search engine trends are, to him, seemingly irrelevant, as he added institutional interest is growing, regardless of search queries. Per his words, institutional investment in top cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum will have a “halo effect” in the market.
Crypto market will benefit from regulations
Regulators throughout the world are moving in on the crypto space as well. Recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly started looking at hedge funds who have a position in cryptocurrencies.
This, to Barhydt, is a positive thing as he believes regulations are likely going to help encourage institutional investors to put in their money. He noted that “we’re getting closer and closer to real clarity in the West that it’s OK putting half a percent of your assets into crypto.”
While half a percent is a tiny amount of exposure for large institutional investors, it’ll still allow them to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars once the crypto market booms, Barhydt concluded.