According to Dean Skurka, while regulations have raised expenses, they have also encouraged institutional interest in cryptocurrencies.
According to WonderFi CEO Dean Skurka, who spoke at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canadian financial institutions are becoming more interested in cryptocurrencies as legislative certainty spreads across the nation.
Skurka asserted that institutional trade on his exchange has increased relative to trading by regular investors. He said, referring to over-the-counter trading, “What we have seen in the first half of this year is growth in our OTC institutional segment.” “These institutional investors, more experienced investors, are more basic in their investment methods and [more] resistant to mood and market trends. We are beginning to notice that a significant portion of our client base is transferring as a result of explicit legislation.
Some significant crypto exchanges have completely exited the market as a result of complaints that the Canadian government’s laws are too complicated for them to comply. For instance, Binance shut down its service to Canadians on May 12 and Bybit declared on May 30 that it will no longer permit new Canadian accounts to be registered owing to “recent regulatory development.”
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But in Skurka’s opinion, WonderFi has benefited from clear laws in Canada. He reiterated:
“Through the platforms that we own and operate, having the licenses that we do, there are fewer venues that can offer [crypto services] to an institutional audience. […] We’ve seen an increase in activity, not only on the institutional side, but also on products that we’ve rolled out that are catered to long-term holders like staking.”
Skurka underlined that because lending platforms like Celsius and Voyager had failed, long-term holders in Canada had previously been left without services that met their demands. On the other hand, the cost of operating an exchange has increased due to new laws that were implemented in response to these bankruptcies. Skurka said that in order for the crypto industry to be able to bear the new costs, there was a need for consolidation. According to him, WonderFi has been making an effort to “use this opportunity to really bring these platforms together on the basis that […] you’re creating a clear market leader that has the scale to operate in a compliant environment.”
Over the past two years, WonderFi has been consuming smaller Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. In April 2023, it announced a merger with Coinsquare and CoinSmart after acquiring Bitbuy and Coinberry in 2022.
The CEO of WonderFi predicted that the direction the Canadian government is going will help this new trend of institutional interest last into the future. “As that infrastructure is established, you’re going to see institutional participants continue to take it more seriously,” he asserted.
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