As digital assets become mainstream, the second largest cryptocurrency (by market capitalization) has generated major discussion at wealth management offices across the United States. Historically, Bitcoin has attracted most of the attention in the digital assets' ecosystem, however, investors are starting to increase their knowledge and participation in Ethereum blockchain as the number of decentralized applications ("DApps") built on the Ethereum blockchain continues to rise.
Since its inception, fiduciaries have grappled with how to approach Bitcoin. The challenges are manifold. First, how to describe it: Is it a currency? A commodity? An equity or a bond alternative? Some combination of these? Second: How does it work, and where are the risks? Third, and perhaps most challenging: how to discuss the asset class with clients?
SPACs can be very lucrative business models for their sponsors. SPACs also present an attractive alternative IPO route particularly for the owners of smaller companies, often private equity funds or smaller businesses, looking to go public. The SPAC option represents a less onerous method to go public both in terms of speed (it is faster) and risk (there is less market risk and less regulatory burden). For public equity investors, SPAC stocks can be interesting private equity type investments with changing option components.
The answer involves concepts around trust, blockchain technology, public distributed ledger system secured by cryptography on a peer-to-peer network. Huh? Not to be outdone, there are “mining” and “wallets” though not the kind that come to mind, taxed as property by the IRS, tool of choice for criminal activity like ransomware, and an inventor with the nom de plume Satoshi Nakamoto.
As the Biden Administration further develops its China strategy, it is increasingly going to encounter into an increasingly difficult contradiction. Unlike the case of the Great Japan Debate of the late 1980s, much of American business does not want to see any U.S. government policies that might hurt its ability to make money in China.