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Bitcoin has penetrated institutional segment, Morgan Stanely says

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  • Morgan Stanely explains the evolution of Bitcoin.
  • Stablecoins are gaining popularity.

Institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies is finally upon us, Morgan Stanely experts believe. According to the recently published research paper on Bitcoin “Bitcoin Decrypted: A Brief Teach-In and Implications,” prepared by the company, the number of institutional investors has been growing steadily, while the number of retail investors in cryptocurrencies has remained marginally the same.

The bank focused on the evolution of Bitcoin definition and perception. It started as digital cash, then turned into a solution for the existing financial system deficiencies, that to a new payment system and finally to a new investment class for institutional players, CoinDesk says, citing the report.

The evolution was driven by the events happening in the system and by discoveries regarding Bitcoin ecosystem functionality and applicability.: hack attacks, forks, transaction traceability, new technologies based on Bitcoin, market volatility and vulnerabilities – all of these shaped the idea of Bitcoin.

According to Morgan Stanely, Bitcoin has been regarded as an investment asset for almost a year with the amount of digital assets under management has been growing steadily since January 2016. Currently, hedge funds, venture capital firms, and private equity firms store and manage cryptocurrencies to the tune of $7.11B.

Speaking about stablecoins, the bank’s researches mentioned that over half of all BTC trading is against USDT, a controversial token, backed by US dollars and operated by Tether. This situation is exasperated by the fact that many cryptocurrency exchanges do not accept fiat currencies.

“USDT took an increasing share of BTC trading volumes as cryptocurrency prices started falling. This occurred because many exchanges only trade crypto->crypto and not crypto->fiat. Trading crypto->fiat requires going through the banking sector which charges a higher fee. Also as bitcoin prices fell, so did almost all other coins so if owners wanted to come out of bitcoin holdings, they needed to go to another asset which was closer to the valuation of the U.S. dollar.”

The stablecoin trend is gaining traction as many startups are creating their own stablecoins, linked to fiat currencies.

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