July 16 – 22, 2018 | Institutional Investors, CFA Curriculum & More Crypto News

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

Institutional Investors are Buying Into Crypto Funds

July 18, 2018 – Grayscale, the company behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC), has released its first Digital Asset Investment Report for 1H 2018, showing record-breaking stats from institutional investors. The company revealed that it has raised nearly $250 million USD so far in 2018, which has been the strongest pace of inflows since the company’s inception back in 2013. Grayscale now manages about $2 billion USD through its crypto funds. Despite recent pressures on the price of leading cryptocurrencies, the surge of inflows was mostly from institutional investors this year – accounting for about 56% of its total inflows.

Barry Silbert, the CEO of Grayscale Investments LLC, confirmed the institutional data in a tweet, separate from the Digital Asset Investment Report. The report does note that institutional investors came in with an average investment of $848,000 USD. Accredited investors accounted for 20% of new inflows, and retirement accounts and family offices accounted for 16% and 8% respectively. Most of these new investors have been allocated to Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust. Institutional investors may be opting towards the Bitcoin fund over other cryptocurrency funds, as its value is more related to the entire cryptoasset market, similar to the index funds in which these seasoned investors are used to investing in.

Read the full article here.

CFA Exam Adds Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Topics to Curriculum

July 16, 2018 – The world-renowned Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examination will be adding cryptocurrency and blockchain topics to its Level I and II curriculums next year. Study material for the 2019 examinations will come this August, and will now include a new reading titled “Fintech in Investment Management”. The new reading will contain the cryptocurrency and blockchain material, along with other topics relating to fintech. Additionally, cryptocurrencies will make an appearance in the CFA professional ethics readings, alluding to the negligible lack of ethics seen so far in the sector, since initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other tokens do remain in a legal gray zone due to their potentially centralized and security-like natures. It is unclear what exactly the new cryptocurrency and blockchain studying material will cover, but it is becoming clearer that the world of finance is becoming unavoidably associated with these digital assets every day.

The CFA institute has said that there has been a “surging interest” through surveys and other focus groups, which helped lead to the institute’s decision to add cryptocurrencies and blockchain to the curriculum. Stephen Horan, the managing director for general education and curriculum at the CFA Institute, said “we saw the [crypto and blockchain] field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable.” Horan also stated that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are “not a passing fad”, potentially adding credibility to the long-term opportunities present in leading cryptoassets.

Read the full article here.

Ethereum Could Drive Blockchain Towards Widespread Adoption

July 18, 2018 – Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of Goldman Sachs-backed crypto firm Circle, thinks that Ethereum may help drive blockchain technology to be as widely adopted as the internet. Allaire notes that Ethereum has been a leading platform for blockchain developers, and “has [had] an enormous amount of developer activity”. The cryptocurrency ether, which acts as the “fuel” for developers on the Ethereum blockchain, remains the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap at approximately $47 billion USD. Developers need to own ether in order to develop their own blockchain projects, and users will need ether to transact on Ethereum platforms – which in turn drives demand for the cryptocurrency.

“One of the things that really catalyzed the [cryptocurrency] market last year was actually that Ethereum, in particular, kind of got to a place where you could build apps on top of it,” said Allaire. “You could issue new tokens on top of it; you could create new kinds of financial contracts, using the smart contracts technology.” Allaire also notes that the success of Ethereum has “catalyzed a lot of competing infrastructures”, but the widespread adoption of development on these platforms has still yet to be seen.

Read the full article here.

Coinbase Secures $20 Billion Hedge Fund Through its Prime Brokerage

July 20, 2018 – Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly secured a $20 billion hedge fund through their “Coinbase Custody” solution. Back in early July, the company had launched its digital assets custodian solution aimed at targeting large institutional investors. The custody service is secured through the SEC-compliant independent broker, Electronic Transaction Clearing (ETC). Some anonymous sources have reported that Coinbase may soon be planning to offer margin financing as early as this year, allowing institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies on margin.

The lack of prime brokerages and other established custodians in the market may be the reason why some institutional investors have been reluctant to invest in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase had released their “Coinbase Prime” brokerage service earlier this year, which was a first for the crypto space. According to Richard Johnson, a consultant at Greenwich Associates, “Coinbase is pursuing a lot of different initiatives that make sense and take it closer to or are more similar to traditional finance: custody, financing, lending, security tokens, and the institutional portal. They have the resources to fund them and will surely have some successes.”

Read the full article here.

Mastercard Wins Cryptocurrency Patent for Credit Cards

July 17, 2018 – Mastercard has reportedly won a patent that may allow their cardholders to pay for purchases on their credit cards using cryptocurrencies. According to the document published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard stated that there has been an “increased usage” of cryptocurrencies, particularly among those who “value anonymity and security”. While the actual implementation of this patent’s technology is still yet to be seen, it may spark a broader acceptance of using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for anything you could charge on your credit card.

Seth Eisen, the senior vice president for communications at Mastercard, said “we’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders. Patent applications are part of that process, taking steps to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market.” According to Fundstrat analyst and co-founder Tom Lee, Mastercard’s patent is a good thing for cryptocurrencies, and “it’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction.”

Read the full article here.

3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund: Price as at July 20, 2018

3iQ is the first regulator approved multi-cryptoasset portfolio manager in Canada, providing accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund.

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.