Cryptocurrencies are no longer a fringe asset class like it was ten years ago after making their debut. However, wealth managers in Asia still view them with a measure of skepticism.
Accenture, a professional services firm, highlighted in its latest report that wealth managers in Asia are hesitant to devote a portion of their holdings to cryptocurrencies.
The report titled “The Future of Asia Wealth Management” saw Accenture gather facts from 3,200 investors and over 500 financial investors from private banks, retail banks, and independent wealth firms on the continent. The report opined that digital assets accounted for only a small fraction of the holdings of investment firms.
“Digital assets represent 7% of surveyed investors’ portfolio – making it the fifth-largest asset class in Asia- making it the fifth-largest asset class in Asia – more than they allocate to foreign currencies, commodities or collectibles,” read the report. “Yet, two-thirds of wealth management firms have no plans to offer digital assets.
Accenture notes that the hesitation to invest in the $1.2 trillion cryptocurrency markets might have consequences for wealth managers in Asia. The company’s report avers that “digital assets are a $54 billion revenue opportunity – that most are ignoring.”
Stalling because of a ‘wait-and-see’ approach
The report made a valiant attempt to rationalize the reason for the apathy amongst wealth managers over crypto investments in Asia. At the top of the list was a “lack of belief and understanding of digital assets” and the operational complexity of launching such an offering to clients.
Their fears may be rationalized by the recent decline in crypto prices triggered by TerraUSD (UST) collapse. The absence of clear regulatory frameworks over the industry has contributed to firms choosing to adopt a “wait-and-see approach.
Nicole Bodack, Accenture’s Capital Markets executive, states that “investors are looking for new products and advisory services as they grapple with market volatility.” She adds that longer life expectancy and the increasing amounts of investment information available online have made offering digital investment products imperative.
Despite the sentiments amongst the bulk of investment firms in Asia, Nomura Holdings revealed that it will be launching a digital asset company later in the year for institutional investors to have exposure to cryptocurrencies. South Asia’s banking giant DBS Group grabbed the bull by the horn to create a platform for investors to trade a broad range of crypto assets.
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