AIMA hosted its 2nd annual Digital Assets Conference on May 11, 2023. Another sold-out New York venue hosted an audience of 280 LPs, GPs and professionals from across the legacy alternative investments and digital assets industries to focus on ‘the how’ of allocating to digital assets.

For details about last year's conference, click here

Key Takeaways:

The suits are still here – financial services firms are committed to this space, and if anything, there were more "tradfi" institutions in the audience vs 2022. Motivations for institutional participation range from responding to client demand and finding new sources of alpha to portfolio diversification and technological innovation.

Regulation was the theme of the day. There was an expectation that the US will eventually pull through, but not before the 2024 Presidential election cycle. In the meantime, many firms are looking to open office or fully relocate abroad.

Enhanced due diligence and more robust risk management practices have become more prominent following the collapse of FTX. Panelists highlighted a strong focus on building and investing strategically in the non-investment side of the business during market slowdown. Infrastructure improvements around areas such as software, wallets and interoperability are still needed for mass adoption of blockchain.

Tokenization continues to attract development and attention – still largely in a building vs deployment phase and there is expected to be an evolution from private to public blockchain, which may mirror the development of cloud computing. Use cases continue to develop.

 

Additional resources:

You can download AIMA’s Industry Guide on Digital Asset Trading here.

AIMA's digital asset work can be found here

 

 

Podcasts

We hear and read about digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, all the time but they are still surrounded by misconceptions.

Our host Drew Nicol speaks to Michelle Noyes, AIMA’s head of Americas and a driving force for the association’s digital assets working group, to dispel some common myths around digital assets and explains how hedge funds are navigating the opportunities and challenges in this emerging market.

 

The Current Landscape from a Pioneering Asset Manager’s Perspective 

Eric Peters, the Founder and CIO of One River Asset Management, participated in an opening fireside chat with John D’Agostino.  Peters, a traditional macro hedge fund manager, has been a pioneer in investing in digital assets. Peters and D’Agostino began their chat as UST, a stablecoin, was melting down, but as a manager with institutional clients, he conveyed and encouraged a long-term view.  To hear more from Peters, listen to his AIMA podcast available here.

 

How stable is a stablecoin really?

With digital assets never far from the headlines, The Long-Short has embarked on an in-depth exploration of stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.

Our guest, Teana Baker-Taylor, a policy and regulatory strategy expert at Circle, a global fintech firm, untangles the debate about what stablecoins are – and what they aren’t – and their potential impact on businesses and our daily lives.

She also discusses the nuances of navigating the evolving landscape of stablecoins, including the need to safeguard and educate investors against bad actors.


What do hedge funds think of crypto in 2023?

The 5th Annual Global Crypto Hedge Fund Report (2023), a new research piece from AIMA, PwC and CoinShares, is out now providing some much-needed insight and data to the pressing questions around the current sentiment of traditional hedge funds and crypto fund managers towards the digital asset investment space today.

To delve into the findings, Drew Nicol is joined by a couple of the report’s authors, Peter Brewin, a Partner at PwC Hong Kong, and James Delaney, a Director in AIMA’s Government Affairs team and central figure in AIMA’s Digital Assets Working Group (AIMA DAWG). The in-depth conversation covers emerging trends, investment strategies, evolving market structure, regulatory efforts and industry reaction to 2022 crypto market events. 

 

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