Three-quarters of wealthy Asian investors will own digital assets by 2022: report – TechCrunch

According to a new report from the consulting firm Accenture.

It’s unclear how Accenture surveyed the population in the vast region or defined “affluent” investors. What is clear is that the wealthy in Asia, like their American counterparts, are increasingly looking for digital assets – which can include cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, crypto investment funds, cryptocurrency tokens. security and asset-backed tokens – to build their personal wealth.

Currently, 52% of affluent investors in Asia already hold digital assets, according to Accenture. In the United States, up to 83% of millennial millionaires owned cryptocurrency, according to a survey published by CNBC in December.

Despite growing interest from Asian investors, most wealth management firms in the region are yet to offer their clients a digital asset proposition – and two-thirds of firms currently have no intention of do it, according to Accenture.

On the other hand, a generation of startups has sprung up to meet the growing crypto-native financial services needs of institutional and high-net-worth investors in Asia. One of the best-funded crypto asset managers in the region is Amber Group, which was founded in 2018 by a team of former Morgan Stanley traders. The startup has reached a $3 billion valuation in its fundraising close in February and reportedly raised a new round at a $10 billion valuation. Another contender in the space is Babel, which saw its valuation soar to $2 billion in May.

While companies like Amber offer a comprehensive platform of crypto assets for investors, other startups are developing the infrastructure underlying crypto financial products.

Staking, for example, has become a popular way for investors to earn passive income. It works by keeping its cryptocurrencies locked into a certain network to earn rewards, much like an interest-bearing savings account. This is because some networks like Ethereum verify transactions using a “consensus mechanism” called “proof of stake,” by eliminating centralized intermediaries.

The process of staking or placing one’s tokens in a network to prove the legitimacy of a blockchain transaction might be too technical for average investors, so services like Singapore-based RockX have emerged to provide online staking. as a service to wealthy individuals and institutions. . The startup raised $6 million Series A led by Amber in April and plans to integrate its technology into Amber’s list of product offerings.

In one year, RockX’s assets under management have grown from $200 million to $1 billion, its founder and CEO Zhuling Chen told TechCrunch in May.

Chen expects the demand for participation from Asian-based investors to grow rapidly in the coming years. Many Western users have already explored staking, but the field is just starting to catch on in Asia, he observed. During the first years after the birth of Bitcoin, Asia represented a large share of global investors in the crypto sector, who mainly traded tokens on exchanges for short-term gains. Now that institutions and family offices in the region are increasingly interested in adding crypto to their long-term portfolios, staking presents them with an investment opportunity, Chen said.

Robert D. Coleman