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Does Wall Street Still Love To Hate Crypto?

Sometime around this time last year, a certain question was doing the rounds in the world of crypto bloggers: does Wall Street love to hate crypto? While most answered in the affirmative, some expressed the opinion that Wall Street was actually a major ally of crypto. A year has passed and the crypto market has gone through great tumult. How does the situation stand now? Does Wall Street still love to hate crypto? Let’s find out.
If we take one of the latest headlines, we will have to disagree about the animosity between the two. Wall Street stock exchange Nasdaq has paired up with blockchain firm Symbiont recently, paving the way for developing fresh blockchain smart contract solutions and tokenization options. Well, that’s just blockchain, you may point out. Where does crypto fit into this picture?
Given that Adena Friedman, the CEO of Nasdaq had called cryptocurrencies the “global currency of the future”, at the Davos World Economic Forum, crypto enthusiasts are hopeful that the powerful exchange’s foray into the world of tokenization will lead to it dealing with digital assets soon.
The top boss of the exchange has also hailed cryptocurrencies as
“a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity…[and deserving of] an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy”.
However, it is also to be noted that just a couple of days ago the analysts at JP Morgan, the finance behemoth of Wall Street, dismissed cryptocurrencies as having absolutely no value. They said no matter how bad a situation was, users would not have to fall back on crypto. Instead, they believe:
“Even in extreme scenarios such as a recession or financial crises, there are more liquid and less-complicated instruments for transacting, investing and hedging.”
Even Wall Street Journal itself has taken a condescending stance towards crypto, as they wrote in the beginning of January 2019 that:
“At the beginning of 2018, the question was whether Bitcoin could live up to the hype of 2017’s manic rally,” and at the end of 2018 the answer was “no.”
Besides, as we noted last month, the long-standing bearish market has kept Wall Street from making a strong entrance into the crypto space. As Bloomberg had written, based on information derived from unnamed source, key players like Barclays, Goldman, Morgan, Citigroup had all shied away from implementing the elaborate plans they had earlier had for making a foray into the crypto market. The Bloomberg report had gone on to opine that:
“Progress has been so slow as to be barely noticeable, according to people familiar with its crypto business. Many in the industry now say it was quixotic to have expected last year’s frenzy to translate into a Wall Street crypto offering.”
Having said all of this, it must be noted that a number of former Wall Street executives have made the switch to crypto firms. Examples include the Wall Street execs crypto hedge fund Quantrec managed to sign on last October and Mike Novogratz backing Bitcoin.
Bart Smith, a top honcho at the Susquehanna International Group had hailed Bitcoin as the best cryptocurrency out there back in July 2018. However, a lot has changed since then and it seems Wall Street is back to hating crypto.
That does not mean we must lose hope though.As the Nasdaq-Symbiont collaboration shows us, Wall Street is indeed moving, no matter how slowly, towards a world where it can possibly work with digital assets. The “times they are a changin”, we can only hope it will be quick enough.
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