Grayscale Senior Exec Says Institutional Investment Doubled in Q2 2019

Michael LaVere
  • Grayscale senior executive Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary said institutional investment doubled in Q2 2019.
  • Institutions contributed 84 percent of the $85 million in capital acquired during the second quarter of the year. 

Despite recent research claiming that institutional interest into bitcoin and cryptoassets is waning, a senior executive at Grayscale Digital said their investment doubled during the second quarter of 2019. 

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, director of sales and business development at Grayscale Digital Assets, told news outlet The Block that institutional investment doubled in Q2 2019 and that new institutions are “investing with us all the time.”

According to Sharif-Askary, Grayscale raised around $85 million in the second quarter of this year, with 84 percent of the capital coming from institutional investors. The senior executive said that Grayscale products were in high demand from clients looking for “ownership of digital assets in the form of traditional securities.” 

She continued, 

I get asked this a lot; there is this rhetoric in media of when institutional investors are going to get involved, when they are gonna start investing. It’s ironic because we see institutional investors investing with us all the time and that’s been the case for a long time now.

When asked about the recent launch of bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt, which has been viewed by many to be a disappointment, Sharif-Askary took a different angle. Rather than being dismayed by the platform’s low volume, the Grayscale exec said she was “thrilled” to see more on-ramps for institutional investors and that Grayscale's lean team “can’t be the only one running around educating investors.”

While Bakkt's launch was hailed as a potential gateway for institutional investment, the exchange has generated relatively low volume since going live in mid-September. A monthly report by Binance Research even attributed bitcoin’s price drop last month to the disappointing start for the crypto futures platform. 

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