Despite the recent crash in the crypto market, some investors consider it a perfect investment opportunity. A director at Swiss crypto bank Sygnum and former CEO of Switzerland’s largest bank UBS, Peter Wuffli, is one such investor. He aims to tap the “$220 billion market of institutions and private individuals who already own cryptocurrencies.”
SwissInfo, a local news outlet, reported on September 26 that Wuffli has revealed excitement about the potential of digital assets. In an interview, he said:
“The most immediate opportunity is the existing $220 billion market of institutions and private individuals who already own cryptocurrencies.”
He confirmed that thousands of clients have already contacted his bank requesting a one-stop-shop. The customers want the bank to focus on asset custody, loans, and trading cryptos seamlessly with fiat currencies.
Asset Tokenization is the Future
Wuffli said that he is confident that the tokenization of assets like real estate, commodities, company shares, or art is the next investment opportunity in the industry. Nevertheless, he is also aware that there exist many unanswered questions and most of them are regulatory.
Wuffli is also quoted praising the many potentials of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). He highlighted on the opportunity that he sees in the securitization of shares and simultaneously creating smart contract-based share registers. He believes that such an infrastructure will offer a great deal of simplification:
“You can do away with spreadsheets and combining systems to pay dividends, do capital increases and trade on the secondary market. And trading could take place without long settlement times and counterparty risk.”
DLT is better than Corporate Currencies
On a deeper and philosophical level, he purported that DLT is all about market democratization. He is confident that the longer-term potential is to develop a wider, more open, and easier cross-border access to assets.
Nonetheless, he also showed a sceptical stand with regards to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. Even though Wuffli affirmed that he is not aware of Facebook’s plans in depth and that he would rather not comment on the project, he stated categorically that he is not a proponent of the corporate cryptocurrencies in general.
The nations and states around the world will not condone any actions by such cryptos that threaten their monopoly on currencies. But, Wuffli believes that the regulation of financial services and control over various currencies are important tasks. That control ensures that currencies cannot get decoupled from sovereign states.
“As soon as someone tries to challenge the sovereign monopoly on currencies they will not allow it, and for good reason. Besides, I don’t think people will treat private currencies like that without the power of a country and a political system behind it.”
According to earlier reports in August, Sygnum received a banking and securities dealer license together with a Swiss crypto-specialized entity SEBA. On a light note, Wuffli said:
“One thing missing from my CV is that I have never been involved in the creation of a new bank. I am a curious person and I love new things, it’s energizing.”
With more institutional investors joining the crypto world, it might be a matter of time before virtual currencies break into the global mainstream economy.