Crypto: An Asset Class Ignored at Your Peril

Investors who are shying away from cryptocurrency risk missing the digital boat.

A little grill floating off a cliff holding five colorful dollar-shaped balloons.

In the stodgy world of finance, it’s easy to dismiss newfangled ideas, particularly those that challenge traditional investment strategies. But ignoring cryptocurrency, the brash upstart of the financial sphere, is a misstep akin to stubbornly clinging to the telegraph while the telephone takes off. For those who scoff at the mere mention of Bitcoin, consider this your wake-up call. 

The cryptocurrency industry has grown to encompass far more than just its poster child, with centralized and decentralized stablecoins, decentralized finance, technical infrastructure for tokenization of real-world assets, and alternative custody schemes with low international friction, all jockeying for position.

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Turning a blind eye to this burgeoning asset class is not only inefficient, it also risks missing out on price exposure to scarce assets that could have potential demand. To ignore cryptocurrency is to shut oneself off from an entire ecosystem of innovation and opportunity.

Then and Now: A Transformative Decade

Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since Bitcoin first emerged in 2009, and with their growing adoption, they now represent a non-trivial slice of the global investment pie. The total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has soared past $2 trillion, a figure that would make even the most jaded financier sit up and take notice.

Stablecoins, for example, offer a less volatile alternative to traditional cryptocurrencies. Pegged to a reserve of assets such as fiat currency or gold, they promise stability in an otherwise turbulent market. Centralized stablecoins, such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), have gained considerable traction, while decentralized stablecoins like MakerDAO’s DAI provide a more decentralized and trustless alternative.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) has also gained significant momentum, with billions of dollars locked in various protocols. DeFi platforms allow users to lend, borrow, and trade without intermediaries, bypassing traditional financial institutions and offering new avenues for investment and income generation. The DeFi sector’s growth underscores the demand for alternative financial solutions that are more accessible, transparent, and cost-effective.

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Tokenization of real-world assets is another area where cryptocurrency shines. By tokenizing assets such as real estate, art, or even intellectual property, fractional ownership becomes possible, opening up new investment opportunities for individuals who might otherwise have been priced out of these markets.

The Risk Question

The rise of alternative custody schemes has made it easier for investors to hold and manage their digital assets securely. Platforms like Anchorage and BitGo offer institutional-grade custody services, mitigating the risks associated with self-custody and enabling investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency asset class with confidence.

It’s worth noting that cryptocurrency, like any investment, carries risks. The industry has seen its fair share of hacks, scams, and regulatory hurdles. But turning away from cryptocurrency entirely is akin to tossing the digital baby out with the cyber bathwater. The potential rewards, for those willing to embrace this new asset class, far outweigh the risks.

Of course, we cannot discuss the wide-ranging impact of cryptocurrency without mentioning the meteoric rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs have quickly captured the imagination of both the public and investors alike, serving as a digital representation of unique assets on the blockchain. This innovative technology has allowed for the tokenization of everything from digital art and profile pictures to music albums and virtual real estate. NFTs can even represent shares of institutional funds, adding an intriguing layer of versatility to the world of investment. 

By opening up a previously untapped market for digital ownership and collectibles, NFTs present a wealth of opportunities for investors with varying degrees of risk appetite. They are yet another reminder that the cryptocurrency universe is constantly expanding, and those who ignore it risk being left behind in the analog dust.

Embrace the “Telephone”

In the end, the question is not whether cryptocurrency deserves a place in one’s investment portfolio, but rather, how much exposure is appropriate. The answer will vary from investor to investor, depending on risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment horizon. But one thing is certain: ignoring cryptocurrency as an asset class is an inefficient strategy that risks missing out on a world of potential gains.

So, dear readers, as the digital landscape continues to evolve, don’t be the investor who sticks to the telegraph while the telephone takes over. Cryptocurrency is here to stay, and it would be imprudent to ignore it any longer. Let the digital bells ring, and embrace the brave new world of finance.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Claude Eguienta

Claude Eguienta is the CEO of Mimo Capital, a company that creates protocols providing tokenized real-world assets and allowing the minting of multiple price-stable currencies against collateral to its users. He is also the former Co-Founder of Telcoin and the former CEO of Kabotip. He attended the Shandong University of Technology.