Steven Quirk, the Executive VP of Trading and Education at TD Ameritrade, an Omaha, Nebraska-based broker that manages one of the world’s largest online trading platforms, has revealed that institutional interest in cryptoassets has increased significantly.
"When You Open The Door," A Lot Of People Will Want To Trade Crypto
Quirk argued that recent fluctuations in the bitcoin (BTC) price have not impacted the level of interest in BTC futures trading.
While speaking at Coindesk’s panel at the Consensus 2019 conference, Quirk said:
We get calls, emails, 60,000 clients have traded something in this complex. As soon as you open the door, you’re going to get a lot of people [who want to trade or invest in digital assets.]
The former Index Market Performance Committee member at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) mentioned that attendance has recently been “off the charts” at major Bitcoin events which focus on educating newcomers about cryptoassets. These events have reportedly been facilitated by the management at TD Ameritrade.
Although there have been several reports indicating that mostly millennials are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies, Quirk said that older retail investors have increasingly been asking questions and showing more interest in digital asset-based investments.
Institutions Are Gradually Entering The Crypto Market
Moreover, the management TD Ameritrade, which oversees over $37 billion in assets while recording over $5.4 billion in revenue for FY 2018, has revealed that investment advisors (RIAs) have begun to take more interest in bitcoin futures contracts.
While attending the Consensus 2019 conference, Thomas Chippas, the CEO of the ErisX exchange (which has received investments recently from TD Ameritrade), noted that institutional clients have, in the past year, made substantial investments in cryptoassets.
Chippas also remarked:
Apologies it’s not happening faster...It’s happening, it’s never going to be fast enough for the people who write headlines.
Strong Demand For Physically Settled Bitcoin Futures
Meanwhile, Quirk confirmed that there are many institutional investors who’re “waiting on the sidelines” as they seem to be interested mainly in a Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF).
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not yet approved a cryptocurrency-based ETF application and the federal regulator again postponed its decision regarding Bitwise Asset Management’s ETF.
According to Chippas and Quirk, there is also strong demand currently for physically settled bitcoin futures contracts, as investment managers believe these would allow traders to minimize risk by using conventional risk management tools.