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Vontobel reveals some clients have crypto exposure and that blockchain would significantly impact global finance

Vontobel CEO Zeno Staub said that the firm believes that the "underlying technology is actually more important than certain types of applications."

Vontobel, St. Gallen / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 29 Jul 2021, 09:39 am UTC

Cryptocurrencies are known for their highly volatile price movements that many fund managers usually caution their clients who want to invest in these digital assets. Despite this volatility, Swiss private banking and investment management firm Vontobel recently revealed that its wealthy private clients and institutional investors continue to express interest in crypto.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Vontobel CEO Zeno Staub asked if the bank’s clients are interested in crypto and what type of strategy the investment firm has for the asset class. Staub revealed that while their wealthy clientele remains interested in the new asset class, the investment firm is more interested in the technology running behind them.

“Clients have an interest in cryptocurrencies,” Staub told Bloomberg. “We believe that the underlying technology is actually more important than certain types of applications.”

Staub is predicting that blockchain technology will profoundly impact global finance. This is especially true in the area of securitization where blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) has already been used to create a digital representation of securities, a process known as tokenization.

“We believe the underlying blockchain technology is a logic consequence of the general trend of securitization because it is the only available technology that can create trust without a central counterparty,” the CEO explained. “We will see major changes coming out of that going forward.”

Meanwhile, Vontobel is offering the crypto exposure its clients have been clamoring but it’s doing in a way that makes it more secure for its customers. “What we offer to our clients is that we’ve wrapped some cryptocurrencies in a secure, convenient, and easy to handle way,” Staub said. “And clients appreciate that and allocate part of their wealth to that.”

In the investment banks’ half-year financials, it said that there has been a significant interest for its Bitcoin (BTC) tracker certificate investment product, according to Cointelegraph. The report also revealed an 11 percent growth of its assets under management (AUM) in the first month of 2021 and has now reached 274.5 billion Swiss francs (about $300 billion), a new all-time high for the Zurich-based firm.

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