Rising institutional interest is a ‘bullish’ sign for crypto: SEBA Bank exec


As more institutions go from only showing their interest in the crypto space into actually investing in Web3 projects, getting into crypto turns into a question of “when” rather than a question of “if” according to an executive from institution-focused crypto firm SEBA Bank. 

At the World Token Summit, Cointelegraph spoke with chartered financial analyst Nasha Afshar, who works as a director at SEBA Bank. Afshar discussed topics like the institutional interest and adoption of crypto and trends that they’ve been noticing as of late.

Cointelegraph reporter Ezra Reguerra with SEBA Bank’s Nasha Afshar (right) at the World Token Summit in Dubai. Source: Cointelegraph

According to Afshar, when the markets were in the bull run, many expressed their interest in the crypto space. “If you look at the institutional interest and adoption now versus back then, I think back then, there were more players coming into the space that were interested,” he said. 

However, the executive believes that despite the interest back then, those who acted on that interest were fewer than what he is noticing today. He explained that:

“How much action behind that interest was maybe not as strong as it is today, because if you look today, for example, you can see that most recently you’ve had firms that are of a very significant size and presence globally coming into crypto.”

The executive cited Citadel backing a crypto exchange, BlackRock applying for a spot Bitcoin ETF and others like WisdomTree and Invesco doing the same as “an extremely bullish sign for the industry.”

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When asked about the local trends within the Abu Dhabi Global Markets in the UAE where SEBA Bank has an office, the exec recognized that there was a trend in terms of businesses also showing interest in expanding. He explained that:

“We’ve seen a trend in businesses that were either located elsewhere or looking to expand a secondary office to expand their global footprint that has decided to set up in the because of that robust framework and pro-crypto stance.”

Afshar also noted that back in the day, there was still a “question mark” hovering above cryptocurrency as an asset class among institutional investors. Today, the SEBA Bank exec believes that “it’s not a question of if anymore, it’s more a question of when.”

Lastly, the analyst said that there is already “not just a shift in terms of thought, but a shift in terms of action that this industry will become bigger.”

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