The bitcoin price entered another bearish trend this week after failing to pierce $10,000 earlier in the month. The flagship cryptocurrency now sits more than 58 percent below the all-time high it set in December, but one former JPMorgan trader remains confident that it will trade above $20,000 before the year is out.
Danny Masters, who now serves as chairman of investment firm CoinShares, told CNBC that, despite last year’s parabolic run-up, the cryptocurrency is still largely bereft of the tools that institutional investors need to operate effectively in the nascent markets.
"We need to see this structure continue to build," Masters said of the cryptocurrency industry, adding:
"We need to see the custody solutions come and be provided. We need indices and we need performance measures where we can actually start to understand what we're talking about and measure our performance."
That’s been a common refrain from investment professionals who operate in institutional circles, and it wasn’t Masters’ only complaint.
"We need to do more mature work around the ICOs, so that post ICO we have a token life cycle," he continued. "And just give investors more clarity, better expectations, more transparency."
"We're not even at the part yet where I'd say institutional investors even started in commodities. Because these things — indexation, custody and so on — aren't there to bring in those bigger people just yet,” he said.
However, the industry -- which to date has largely been comprised of retail investors -- is gradually building out its institutional infrastructure.
As CCN reported, retail brokerage giant Coinbase this week unveiled a robust line of institutional products, ranging from trading tools to custodial services. Meanwhile, Japanese holding company Nomura partnered with cryptocurrency wallet manufacturer Ledger to launch a cryptocurrency consortium that will develop products and services for institutions.
Other mainstream firms are preparing to dip their toes into the ecosystem as well. Goldman Sachs will offer its clients a type of bitcoin futures product, while Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) -- the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) -- is holding serious discussions about opening a bitcoin exchange.
These developments, Masters predicted, will propel the bitcoin price to a new all-time high in 2018.
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