Cowen CEO says crypto is in high demand

Alex Dovbnya

Cowen is the latest Wall Street firm to join the cryptocurrency craze by launching a separate division focused on digital assets

During a Friday appearance on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Jeffrey Solomon said there is significant demand for digital assets.

“We have been organizing events and talking to our customers for over a year. We see that question,” Solomon said.

Last October, Solomon said those institutional clients not yet ready to dip their toes in crypto would become “more heavily” involved in digital assets in the following years.

For now, cryptocurrencies are still being powered by retailers, and institutional adoption is still in its infancy, despite more prominent Wall Street firms having begun testing the waters with the new asset.

In the most recent interview, Solomon noted that the vast majority of trading takes place in a small percentage of coins, making them comparable to stocks. Cowen’s boss considers Bitcoin a store of value.

Earlier this month, the investment bank launched a cryptocurrency arm called Cowen Digital.

The new division should allow Cowen’s clients to trade cryptocurrencies without worrying about custody issues. The company stores assets for its customers in cold stores.

Standard Custody & Trust, a subsidiary of PolySign, has partnered with Cowen Digital to provide custody services.

Cowen’s crypto unit has started trading with a total of 16 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Solana. Aside from regular digital assets, Cowen Digital also plans to provide exposure to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), advanced cryptocurrency derivatives and tokens from the decentralized financial sector.

In November, Solomon believed that regulation would be a good thing for cryptocurrencies, as it would help mitigate adverse risks.

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