Bart Smith, the “Crypto King” of Wall St. is hopeful that once there is regulatory clarity around the crypto ecosystem, institutional investors will start pouring money.
Bart Smith is the head of investment firm Susquehanna International Group. The company, which is based out of Bala Cynwyd, PA — a suburb of Philadelphia — is one of the highest-volume trading firms, and it has long dealt in stocks, options, ETFs, and other conventional securities.
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The company first started to experiment with bitcoin trading in 2014. Since then, the privately-held company has launched a crypto trading desk manned by a dozen traders who buy and sell millions of dollars in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies every day.
In an interview with CNBC, Smith says cryptocurrency evangelists shouldn’t focus so much on whether or not there should be regulation, but more so on the importance of regulatory clarity.
Expanding on this point he said,
“There’s a big debate going on about whether there should be more or less [crypto] regulation. From our standpoint, it’s really about regulatory clarity. There has been a tremendous amount of focus on the SEC and Chairman Clayton’s comments. But it’s really a whole host of other regulatory agencies out there, because the ecosystem expands beyond the traditional financial assets.”
Susquehanna has recently been bullish on Bitcoin exchange-traded funds that provide retail investors with exposure to bitcoin’s price movements without custodial risk, because he believes they are an ideal vehicle for investing in virtual currencies.
When asked if there’s a correlation between the stock markets and the crypto space, Smith said he doesn’t think so. He says that what drives bitcoin prices differs from what moves the equity markets because crypto is not an institutionally-driven marketplace like the S&P 500.
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