Fred Pye, CEO of 3iQ, Canada’s first Bitcoin fund issuer, claims that institutional investors and portfolio managers have begun looking at the major cryptocurrency as a “serious venue” to invest in as the hype around Bitcoin (BTC) has faded. In an interview with Cointelegraph during the Bitcoin 2023, Pye spoke about Canada’s advanced regulation for crypto trading and how it has been drawing investors to the digital assets market.
According to Pye, fund managers and institutional investors running diversified portfolio assets are looking for alternative investment strategies amid a global inflationary environment and macroeconomic challenges. He stated, “The FOMO in Bitcoin is gone. It’s all moved over to AI [artificial intelligence]. So now the institutions and the proper portfolio managers, the people that are responsible for running diversified portfolios, are now starting to take a look at Bitcoin as a serious venue.”
It is not just about maximizing profits, says Pye. For institutional investors, crypto use cases will be a growing trend in the next few years. “The theme for 2024 going forward is definitely use cases. So, we’ve got this beautiful technology, now let’s put that beautiful technology to work,” he stated.
Regulatory challenges for institutional adoption have been around for a while, but Canada has notably taken the lead on launching crypto ETFs in North America, given the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s reservations towards the crypto space. ETF refers to the exchange-traded fund that is a portfolio of assets whose shares are traded on a stock market. They blend the characteristics and potential benefits of mutual funds, stocks and bonds. Canadian regulators have approved several crypto ETFs in the past years, including Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) products from 3iQ, Purpose Investments and Evolve Funds Group, attracting millions of dollars to their crypto products.
Pye noted that running regulated digital assets ETFs in Canada has never been mispriced. He explained, “We track the price of Bitcoin identically. They’re low fees, and it works. […] We can cipher trace where the Bitcoin comes from, so we’re only purchasing clean Bitcoin. And I think these are all the characteristics that people are concerned about.”
Canada’s latest initiative towards digital assets relies on a public consultation about a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with the local monetary authority asking what features the country’s citizens want to be included in a potential digital Canadian dollar. Canadians’ consultation results are expected to be published later this year.