You could be forgiven if, after this week, you are confused about where interest in crypto stands among the large institutions that many hoped would embrace it. This week alone, Citibank said it had scrapped plans for developing its own cryptocurrency, CBOE stopped issuing new bitcoin futures, and Bakkt, the NYSE’s crypto venture, drew fresh scrutiny for still not having launched its bitcoin futures, months after its target date.
All of that sounds very bad for crypto. But it comes on the heels of news that two of the world’s largest companies, Facebook and JPMorgan, are developing cryptocurrencies of their own. Plus, just this week, IBM said it was working with six more banks interested in following in JPMorgan’s footsteps and issuing cryptocurrencies for settling payments across borders. Despite the setbacks, people in the industry—including Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, who joined our Q1 Crypto Conference Call yesterday—argue that the trend toward institutional adoption remains positive.