Why Adding Digital Assets To Your Portfolio is Important

Invest. Save. Invest. From a young age, individuals are encouraged to plan their futures in order to grow and manage their wealth over the course of their life. In today’s day and age, we are exposed to a whole new asset class: digital assets. Although they have numerous capabilities, there are many people who remain unaware of the power of investing in digital assets.  It’s no surprise that passive income is just as necessary as active income in terms of accumulating wealth. Active income is an amount you are compensated for working, while passive income is the money your assets can make you in your sleep. Making money while sleeping? What’s better than that!  While investment portfolios are a fantastic way to plan accordingly for retirement and savings, modern-day finance has introduced a valuable new asset class through the ownership of digital assets. These 21st-century digital assets have leveled the playing field for investing and have shown strong returns over time. Read more to learn why you should add digital assets to your portfolio.

What are digital assets? 

Digital assets and cryptocurrency knowledge usually start with some general knowledge of Bitcoin. Bitcoin first came to the market in 2009 and has since skyrocketed in value, reaching record highs of over $60,000. With the cryptocurrency market now being valued at over $2 trillion dollars as a whole, digital asset growth has grown greater than anyone could have imagined. While it’s great to be familiar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, there is a multitude of other digital assets that can be of great value such as Litecoin, Decentraland, Algorand, and more. Digital assets could also be something as simple as a website domain or a social media account. With the NFT market on the rise and the value behind blockchain technology continually improving, investments in this field are hotter than ever, and there has never been a better time to invest.

Why are they important?

Digital assets prove to be unique as they offer an entirely new strategy to diversify one’s portfolio while making investing accessible to all people with an internet connection. Diversification is an essential part of providing security and safety to your portfolio as resource allocation across various investments provides overall stability. These assets do not require third-party validation to buy, sell or transfer. The inclusive and innovative technology that powers digital assets is appealing due to blockchain’s efficiency and capabilities to secure and expedite the investment process for all. 

Another great reason why adding cryptocurrencies to your portfolio is important is because they are providing the opportunity for never-before-seen yields. Your Sharpe ratio will likely improve dramatically, even with a smaller allocation, as digital assets see high returns. According to CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin has produced an average annualized return of 230% — more than 10 times higher than the second-ranked asset class.”  Although the future is uncertain, average annual returns this high are promising as universal adoption has only just begun.

Institutional Approval of Digital Assets

Traditionally, investors were apprehensive to buy crypto due to the intangibility of the asset. Recent events have seen both individuals and institutions more comfortable and interested in the power of cryptocurrencies. Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and more are realizing that their clients’ focus has largely shifted to digital assets and have adjusted their investment offerings in support of the rising need. As of April 2021, Mary Rich, Goldman Sachs head of Digital Assets, said the bank ultimately hopes to offer a “full-spectrum” of digital asset investments, including tokens themselves, as well as derivatives and traditional investment vehicles.” 

How to Get Started

As time progresses, adoption will likely only grow stronger and more normalized. The time to invest is now. Whether you’re an accredited investor looking to get started on adding digital assets to your portfolio, or a financial advisor looking to learn more about the space to better serve your clients, please visit www.sarsonfunds.com to learn more, or follow us on Twitter @SarsonFunds to stay up to date on all things crypto.

By Abigail Almonte

How Blockchain Technology Intersects with the Education Sector

It’s almost guaranteed you’ll receive some type of certification in your lifetime.  This could include a high school diploma, college degree, or even some sort of further education certificate. These small pieces of paper can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain, representing tangible proof that its holder has successfully completed training based on a certain curriculum. Although these diplomas and certificates hold high value and can be the reason why someone may land a job, they are often not as secure as other important documents. Many types of certificates can easily be misplaced, lost, stolen or duplicated, or even fabricated. Since these certificates possess such high value, there needs to be a way for people to validate the legitimacy of their credentials. After years of technological development, what is the solution? Blockchain technology.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the globe in 2020, it was the first time in history that college graduates were not able to attend their typical commencement ceremonies. 2020 threw a curveball most people were not prepared for, as diplomas now were sent via mail and crammed into mailboxes, resulting in a creased piece of paper for four years of hard work, mental, and financial commitments. Unlike most colleges, MIT had been utilizing blockchain technology for nearly 4 years. Not only does the university offer classes on the subject, but it also offers students the option of receiving a digital diploma in place of a physical copy. 

How does this change education?

You may be wondering, how is this beneficial? While your dreams of having your diploma framed in your office one day is still a valid aspiration, modern-day technology shows us that the physical way in which we obtain certifications is antiquated and inefficient. Due to their standard of prestige, diplomas are highly sought after, which could lead to the counterfeiting of them in order to obtain a higher position. An abundance of websites provide eager individuals with authentic-looking fake diplomas that were actually never earned, yet maybe enough to fool the average person. Having under-qualified individuals in the workforce can not only lead to HR troubles but can prove to be a large legal risk for a variety of professions. Think about it: Would you want a doctor operating on you without ever really going to medical school? Or an accountant who didn’t pass their CPA?

The current system for distributing diplomas is insecure. By accessing diplomas and other important credentials through the blockchain instead, credentials can be easily verified and traced back to the proper individual while revealing copycat third parties. Blockchain utilizes a peer-to-peer network that simplifies record-keeping through its immutable structure, automatically verifying record accuracy.

Other Use Cases

Aside from diplomas, certifications, and other badges, blockchain allows for other additional benefits such as the ability to store a variety of files ranging from important school documents like student files, medical and disciplinary records, test score files, and other transcript items. Starting at age five there is a multitude of grades and other data points looped into a student’s record. Through the blockchain, this information and data can be easily verified as an identifiable record, as opposed to storing the data in the back of an overcrowded file cabinet.  

Concluding Thoughts 

At Sarson Funds, we strongly believe in the capabilities of blockchain technology and how the capabilities of these technologies make for a more efficient and effective future. For more information on digital asset investing, cryptocurrency education, or blockchain technology, visit our website at www.sarsonfunds.com.

By Abigail Almonte

Coinbase: Ways to Invest in Crypto

Cryptocurrency investments have soared over the past decade as accredited investors and institutional adopters have validated the industry, inspiring intense growth. Adding digital assets to an investment portfolio has shown to be a strategic and effective way to gain passive income. While cryptocurrencies are still new to most individuals, you may be wondering how to start investing. You want to invest a portion of your savings into Bitcoin and aren’t sure how to get started, or how to best go about it. That’s where Coinbase comes into the picture. Although there are a variety of different ways one can invest in cryptocurrencies, this article will focus on Coinbase’s capabilities and how the company has evolved over the years to facilitate crypto investing.  

When Coinbase was founded back in 2012, Bitcoin had been around for roughly three years and was the sole cryptocurrency Coinbase offered for trading. In the years since, they have also added Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and many other crypto and fiat currencies. Showing tremendous growth in under a decade, operating in over 100 countries, with 43 million users, Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges. Popular amongst beginners as well as crypto veterans, Coinbase is a household name. 

Coinbase Capabilities

Coinbase’s mission is to utilize crypto’s capabilities to make the financial infrastructure exponentially more accessible than traditional finance. While Coinbase is most commonly known for and utilized as a cryptocurrency brokerage, its capabilities don’t stop there. In addition to simplifying the buying, selling, and security implementations of cryptocurrencies, Coinbase additionally offers the capabilities of a wallet, exchange, and other supplemental tools all in one condensed location. Such tools include trading signals, and other data tools that keep investors up to date on what is happening in the market as a whole. Coinbase also offers its native stable coin, USD coin which upholds the same value as the U.S. Dollar.

Why Coinbase 

Coinbase’s interface is very user-friendly. To get started, all you need to do is link your bank account to your Coinbase account and you are free to trade. The platform provides the ability for individuals to purchase coins using debit cards, PayPal accounts, and other methods of payment. Additionally, their user interface is updated regularly and is a trusted platform for many individuals around the world due to their insurance policies and the security of digital assets. This is a reassuring feature as it prevents hackers from easily accessing user information. Coinbase is highly liquid as well, which proves to be beneficial for users as the cryptocurrency market often experiences price volatility.  Coinbase optimizes the management of all users’ assets in one place, and even the ability to schedule buys in a variety of increments.

With access to over 30 different cryptocurrencies, there are a wide variety of crypto assets to choose from, allowing individuals the ability to gain exposure and add a variety of unique digital assets to their portfolios. 

Final Remarks

With exponential need and desire from investors to purchase their own digital wallets, alternatives crypto exchanges include Kraken, Binance, and Gemini. All with similar intentions to evangelize the crypto ecosystem, crypto exchanges are making a decentralized future of finance more attainable.

By Abigail Almonte

Decentralized Exchanges: DeFi Lending Platforms in the Crypto Space

Lending is an integral part of finance and banking that helps give people a boost in reaching their financial goals. Individuals or institutions lend money to those who need it for a variety of reasons. Whether that be to start their own business, to go to school, to buy a home, etc. Whatever the reason, lending helps facilitate the flow of money in the economy as it is continually borrowed and shared. These sorts of traditional lending practices are also available in the crypto space, as the use of lending platforms has become increasingly popular in crypto today. 

The biggest difference between traditional and Defi lending is that typically getting approved for a loan by a bank or other financial institution can prove to be tedious, requiring lots of documentation. Not to mention, time-consuming as they can take days or weeks to be approved. In contrast, DeFi lending is peer-to-peer (P2P), facilitating a direct relationship between both parties.  Defi lending consists of lending cryptocurrencies in exchange for interest. This is an opportunity for individuals to grow their digital asset portfolios as they continue to see steady growth in the market overall. These trades consist of both the lender and borrower in a transaction backed by collateral in the form of crypto assets. Lenders will utilize smart contracts in order to make their assets available for lending. Lending exchanges can be conducted and implemented through a variety of different DeFi platforms such as Aave, Compound, SushiSwap, Uniswap, and many more. These platforms allow and support various different cryptocurrency pools including Ethereum (ETH),  DAI, USDC, USDT, etc. 

Aave

Coming to fruition in 2017, Aave is a secure and audited DeFi lending platform. This liquidity market protocol makes it easy for both borrowers and lenders to use their services. With its open-source contract, decentralized apps and other third parties can access the protocol as well, driving up value. The protocol is currently valued at over $4.8 billion dollars with assets such as DAI and USD coins seeing millions borrowed. Borrowers in AAve receive LEND tokens whereas Lenders will receive aTokens, each providing separate benefits. Lenders will benefit from APY (Annual Percentage Yield) percentages based on borrowers’ interest rates. On the other hand, borrowers will be freed of any transaction fees when using the LEND token. Additionally, if a LEND token is used as collateral, all borrowers will be eligible for a discount. These perks, along with AAve users’ ability to compare and select variable or stable interest rates make it a user-friendly, flexible protocol. 

Compound 

Compound is a DeFi blockchain-based interest-based protocol that securely allows individuals to borrow and lend crypto without having to deal with the hassle of third parties. As your crypto assets are lent to the Compound wallet, you will gain interest on those assets. In terms of borrowing, Compound makes this feature incredibly accessible to any person, as there is no administered credit score check as traditional banks may have. When lending or borrowing, one will be given ‘C-Tokens’ that can be manipulated in a variety of different decentralized applications. Additionally, the COMP token is governed by users that own 1% or more of the COMP protocol. 

SushiSwap 

With accessibility at the forefront of their mission SushiSwap’s motto “with sushi, everyone can be a chef” has held true. SushiSwap has become an increasingly popular decentralized exchange protocol, since forking from Uniswap in August 2020. This protocol runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is an automated market maker (AMM) exchange. Many people turned to SushiSwap after the older popular protocol, Uniswap, forked. Unlike Uniswap, Sushi created their own native token in order to increase profits from returns, gaining them an abundance of users. Once you download a crypto wallet, you will be able to see the returns each pool will provide and which ones you may want to add to, or swap other tokens for. Uniswap has since kicked things into high gear, releasing their native token, UNI in September of 2020. Their main differences today include user experience, liquidity rewards, and overall revenue.

While there are many valid debates for which Decentralized Exchange (Dex) is the best, or most functional, Decentralized Exchanges will continue to gain popularity as the user has the complete ability to control their funds, providing a more flexible and open way to lend and borrow money as a whole.

By Abigail Almonte

Sarson Funds’ Crypto & Income Strategy is Best Performing Fund in Q4 2020

Sarson Funds Crypto Strategy Award

Sarson Funds Crypto Strategy Award

Key Takeaways:

  • Crypto fund managers saw record performance numbers in 2020, according to CryptoFund Performance.
  • Sarson Funds’ Crypto & Income Strategy received top performance honors for Q4 2020.
  • Financial advisors are seeking new strategies for investors as the blockchain ecosystem grows and regulatory clarity is enhanced.

According to Crypto Fund Research, Sarson Funds’ Crypto & Income Strategy (Ax Momentum, LP) was the best performing crypto fund and best performing crypto quant fund of Q4 2020, recording a 315.9% return for the quarter and a 365.7% return for the year. This award was picked up by Yahoo in a recent release, here.

The Crypto & Income Strategy is the first in the cryptocurrency space to turn one of the biggest complaints about investing in cryptocurrency – volatility – into a useful feature: current income. The strategy does this through a covered call writing program on some of the largest cryptocurrencies trading on established US-based exchanges as well as staking and masternodes. As financial advisors look to fill the void for client yield, the Crypto & Income Strategy has seen a surging amount of interest from investment managers.

“Part of our responsibility is to provide investors with both unbiased education and diverse transparent strategies to compliment the developing cryptocurrency regulatory and market landscape. With this comes new opportunities, and we expect other top performing crypto fund managers to look at expanding digital asset investment options as the asset class continues to mature,” Sarson Funds CEO John Sarson said in a statement.

For more information about us and cryptocurrency investor education, please visit www.sarsonfunds.com, or schedule an appointment with one of our teammates, here.

By Liam McDonald

Ethereum: Pioneering the Future of Financial Services

Ethereum: The Future of Financial Services

Ethereum: The Future of Financial Services

Congratulations—you’ve made it down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, and now you’re asking the tougher questions. If Bitcoin is the ultimate digital store of value, then what are all these other cryptocurrencies up to? What is Ethereum, how does it differ from Bitcoin, and why are prominent investors suddenly talking about it? Perhaps you’ve seen Ethereum’s (ETH’s) impressive price appreciation and are curious about future price movement. In this article, we will uncover Ethereum’s present use cases, recent price appreciation, and remaining upside potential.

Native to the Ethereum network, Ether (ETH) is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. However, Bitcoin’s value is commonly understood as a function of its adoption as a decentralized and deflationary store of value. In contrast, Ether’s value is derived from user demand for smart contract execution on the Ethereum network. In essence, smart contracts execute decentralized applications (dApps) automatically, creating value in part by eliminating the need for central authority. Because Ethereum’s bandwidth is limited, users pay transaction fees with Ether to incentivize miners (network transaction validators) to process smart contract execution. Since anyone can create a dApp, the Ethereum network has become a vibrant and competitive ecosystem for technological innovation. With promising opportunities to decentralize and automate (read: disrupt) some of the world’s most valuable markets in finance, logistics, real estate, and more, exposure to Ethereum and its dApps may be a critical component to the modern investor’s successful portfolio.

So, what dApps exist today that contribute to Ethereum’s soaring values? Lending protocols such as Aave (AAVE) and Compound (COMP) enable users to earn interest or borrow crypto instantly. Synthetix (SNX) enables users to issue and trade synthetic assets that track the price of external assets, such as US dollars or exchange-traded stocks, making derivatives more accessible and liquid. Decentralized exchange (DEX) protocols like Uniswap (UNI) facilitate automated trading of Ethereum tokens through liquidity pools, allowing users to maintain custody of their assets as opposed to being held by centralized exchanges. Though these are only several examples, these rapidly growing dApps demonstrate real adoption and represent a broader wave of change which echoes Bitcoin’s ethos of decentralization: the decentralization of finance, or “DeFi.” Observing this trend begs the question: How much higher can ETH’s valuation go?

At the time of writing, Ethereum’s market cap is hovering around $200B USD; one year ago, today, that figure was $13B. Still, Ethereum accounts for only a miniscule share of wealth when compared to the stock markets. Globally, stock markets have an estimated value approaching $90T. But the financial markets don’t end there. Low-end estimates of global derivatives markets are $560 trillion. High-end estimates reach as high as $1.2 quadrillion. Considering the recent advent of dApps like Synthetix, it seems that Ethereum may just be getting started tapping into these markets.

When faced with Ethereum’s exploding levels of innovation and adoption, it is easy to get carried away with such numbers. In truth, nobody can precisely predict the extent to which Blockchains such as Ethereum will continue to replace legacy financial systems. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand the enormity of Ethereum’s upside potential and consider the risk of not being exposed to its growth. At Sarson Funds, we believe the trend of decentralization will continue to manifest itself through Ethereum and other blockchain-based technologies like DeFi. For education and news updates on other emerging cryptocurrency sectors like NFTs, DAOs, stablecoins, internet-of-things, data sovereignty, and more, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and check out our newsroom.

By Nathan Frankovitz

9 Things Financial Advisors Must Know About Crypto

9 Things Financial Advisors Must Know About crypto

9 Things Financial Advisors Must Know About crypto

As digital assets and the crypto ecosystem continue to grow, it is apparent that traditional banking services will be an entity of the past. Peer-to-peer transactions allow for the continual growth towards individual financial freedom and flexible decentralized banking. With the world changing for the better, the cryptocurrency market is here to stay. Financial advisors will need to familiarize themselves with the in’s and out’s of decentralized finance in order to better serve their clients in a timely and efficient manner.

Financial advising is about relationship building. Crypto must be discussed to satisfy fiduciary responsibility.

Communication is at the heart and foundation of every advisor-client relationship. It is critical for clients to know their advisor has their best interests in mind while both parties adapt to the world of crypto. Although digital advances have made strides for financial freedom and accessible banking, problems are still likely to arise. When navigating certain investment concerns, clients look to a face they can trust to discern solutions with. The dependency on their advisors to help consult when these problems arise is equally as important, especially in an emerging digital financial industry. 

Know what to pitch, and what not to pitch (not all cryptocurrencies are created equal).

Not all cryptocurrencies are created equal. Coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are less risky than most digital assets on exchanges. For example, Bitcoin’s accessibility is stronger than competing Altcoins due to the greater volume of software, merchants, exchanges and implementations which help support operations. Your clients’ needs will vary, so if an elderly woman is looking to diversify her portfolio, she may want to stick with a safer cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin etc. However, other clients may have more flexibility and different risk tolerances that are important to note and pitch accordingly.

Leverage your fiduciary responsibilities as a means to have a conversation built on trust.

Understanding that not all coins are fit for every investor and articulating the wide variety of risks is essential to building trust.  Communicating that you would never advocate for an asset that was against your clients’ risk preference will help clients feel more comfortable. With accessibility to technology, instant transactions and the luxury of banking from the comfort of one’s home, people often forget the overwhelming importance of a financial plan. Clients will still rely upon advisors to maintain their fiduciary responsibilities at the epicenter of their financial relationship. There are decisions that technology cannot take all the responsibility for, and having an understanding of when or why clients should make a particular decision is crucial. 

Transition the conversation from Short-Term expectations to Long-term investment strategies.

Investing in digital assets can be more similar to venture capital time horizons. There are many opportunities to profit in the short term, but the industry is young, so it is best to approach crypto from a longer-term investment horizon than typical equities entertain. With an ever-changing market, it is important not to be caught in a panic sell or impulse buy, but rather plan for investments that will serve well over time. It is important to see what coins are consistently growing in the market, as these will prove to achieve the most long-term value, as opposed to coins that are hot today and gone tomorrow.

Be prepared to provide regular updates on industry developments, especially regulatory changes.

In order to best serve your clients, you will need to welcome industry advancements with open arms. The introductory days of investment apps, Venmo and online banking at one time seemed foreign, and now they have been universally adopted.  The same progression will likely follow suit for digital currencies and assets. The gradual regulation of cryptocurrencies will make the market more stable and suitable for a variety of client investments. Thus, it is essential to be aware of regulatory decisions as they will directly affect the universal adoption of cryptocurrencies. 

As a result of staying up-to-date on industry trends, be prepared to pitch new types of digital assets and investment opportunities.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is a great example; there are constant changes that are taking place within the industry. The marketplace for DeFi services will only go up from here, as we have seen the cryptocurrency market-cap already reach a trillion dollars.  Being prepared to educate your clients on new opportunities will increase the likelihood that they invest in these at an earlier stage for the best growth opportunities. As we watch the value of coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum continually rise, remember they too started at the bottom. Being on the initial cusp of innovative coins and technologies can prove to be a beneficial payout for your customers. You want to be confident in your knowledge so that you can pitch the most lucrative and fruitful investment opportunities.

Digital Assets are not just about financial well-being, they’re about massive changes occurring at the societal level.

You want to be prepared to explain why cryptocurrencies matter to society. While they are great investments, there is risk, and addressing the fundamental value proposition of digital assets will make the conversation easier. It is important for clients to understand that the mainstreaming of digital assets allows for every individual to participate in an economy without barriers imposed by fees, geographical borders, or other boundaries. Being able to explain the large variety of use cases involved, as well as the capabilities of the decentralized structure will help clients see that this conversation is about more than just finance. 

You don’t have to go at it alone, there are plenty of educational resources and asset managers to support you and your clients as you gain exposure to digital assets.

Blockchain technology is only growing as the Crypto industry is here to stay in 2021. Advisors will need to embrace the power and potential of this industry by doing their due diligence and staying informed. Luckily, Wall Street-focused educational and marketing firms like Sarson Funds specialize in educating financial advisors to support their clients in their digital asset discovery with resources ranging from policy overviews, investor guides, investment strategies and more. Additionally, Sarson Funds can actively manage your client accounts based on risk tolerance. 

It’s never too late to get involved with digital assets. 

 Although the industry has experienced unprecedented growth, it has significant room to run. Institutions are investing, corporations are adding it to their balance sheets, and governments are clarifying the regulatory landscape. All of which is to say that this is only the tip of the iceberg. As influencers ranging from Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to rapper Soulja Boy are showing interest, the conversation is certainly continuous and ever-developing. Regardless of who you are, digital assets are here for you.

By Abigail Almonte

Understanding Decentralized Finance: DeFi 101

Decentralized Finance 101

Decentralized Finance 101

In 2020, the cryptocurrency market cap surpassed $1 Trillion. This year, you owe it to yourself to learn how you can get involved in digital asset investment opportunities.

We get it. We live in a digital age full of constant technological changes – keeping up with these changes can be overwhelming. This is especially true for digital assets like Bitcoin. With access to an abundance of information on the topic, sometimes it can be hard to make sense of new terminology and the cultural memes born from societal change. As this ecosystem surfaces, it can be hard to understand even the most basic terms that industry experts take for granted. 

Despite the seemingly overwhelming nature of the digital asset industry, it really isn’t so complicated once you learn the basics. In our view, once you understand the basics, you’ll see that adding digital assets to your portfolio is one of the most critical investment decisions you’ll ever make. That’s why we left Wall Street – to bridge the gap between crypto and traditional finance. You don’t want to be on the sidelines for this emergent industry. 

Start your cryptocurrency and blockchain education with some basic themes and terminology, here:

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Decentralized Finance, also known as “DeFi,” refers to a broader series of financial services that uses blockchain technology to reimagine traditional finance. Using publicly available and verifiable ledger systems, DeFi systems support financial transactions that remove many of the costs of counterparty risk. For example: instead of paying an organization to act as an escrow service, you’d use software known as a smart contract to verify financial transactions. 

One example of how DeFi is changing the world is how money is transferred through it. Global remittances total nearly $700 billion a year. Remittance services typically charge high fees and take time to transfer money from one country to another. With DeFi, those transactions can be done rapidly, for a fraction of the cost, and are done directly from peer to peer, offering a more private and secure transaction. 

According to the OCC, DeFi is on pace to overtake traditional financial services.

Smart Contracts 

But what exactly is a smart contract? And why does it matter whether there are 3rd parties involved in a transaction? Smart Contracts are a new type of software that facilitate a cryptographically secured transaction on a blockchain. Smart Contracts function as rules written in code which dictate the execution of the transaction. 

Decentralized Applications – DApps and DEXs

Decentralized Apps (DApps in the crypto world) are unique applications that use smart contracts for different purposes. Smart Contracts have allowed for the creation of decentralized exchanges (DEXs), which are smart contracts that facilitate peer-to-peer market making using complex smart contracts, rather than relying on 3rd party clearing houses, broker/dealers and bank custodians. These applications run exchanges using a permissionless network (no 3rd parties are involved), therefore making DEXs secure. Popular DEXs include Compound and Uniswap.

You may be wondering, why wouldn’t you just use a centralized exchange like Robinhood or Coinbase? The real value behind decentralized applications like a DEX is that you own and maintain custody of your asset up until the transaction takes place. The application cannot restrict your ability to transact with any asset as what recently occurred with the Robinhood’s restriction of Gamestop stock. 

Becoming your own Bank: Decentralized Lending Platforms 

Lending platforms offer a flexible alternative to traditional banking services. They provide users the ability to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies on a peer-to peer network, insinuating the idea of “being your own bank.” Privacy is heightened as classic bank requirements such as identity and credit scores are not required through the platforms.

Stablecoins 

Most people are familiar with Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry because of industry wide price volatility. Stablecoins were created as a way to mitigate volatility risk in the DeFi space. These coins are pegged to the value of traditional fiat currencies. For example, USDC is a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. Dollar.

Decentralized finance is in for a wild ride in 2021. As you follow along, it will be critical to be educated on what powers these technological advances and how they are changing the future of finance.

Final Thoughts

At Sarson Funds, we understand that you’re not going to jump straight into a new investment opportunity without educating yourself first. That’s why our core mission is to thoroughly educate financial advisors on this emergent investment class with Wall Street-grade standards. To learn more about how digital assets can support your investment objectives, stay tuned for more educational materials or reach out to schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.

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For more updates on the world of digital assets, follow the journey via our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, or here at: https://www.sarsonfunds.com

By Abigail Almonte

Crypto Regulatory Update: OCC Guidance Indicates Crypto is Here to Stay

Sarson Funds Crypto Regulatory Update

Sarson Funds Crypto Regulatory Update

Cryptocurrencies are here to stay in 2021. As the ecosystem reaches a $1 trillion total market capitalization, Bitcoin tests new all-time highs, and Wall Street institutions get involved, one thing is clear: crypto isn’t going anywhere. In fact, crypto’s lure over the investment community and financial institutions is forcing regulators to discern proper means of integration as the universal benefits are now unavoidable. As the ecosystem grows, we expect an influx of positive regulatory guidance to surface throughout 2021, making way for yet another decade of crypto domination.

Our hopes for an insurgence of positive crypto regulation derives mostly from the work of former Acting Comptroller of the Currency at the OCC, Brian Brooks, and his efforts to spur nationwide acceptance of crypto assets during his time in office. Formerly the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, Brooks focused significant efforts as Acting Comptroller of the Currency to clear a path for widespread crypto adoption.

“Nobody’s going to ban Bitcoin,” Brooks said in a statement on CNBC’s Squawk Box,” later saying, “We’re very focused on getting this right. We’re very focused on not killing this… And it’s equally important that we develop the networks behind bitcoin and other cryptos as it is that we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.” Brooks concluded by saying to expect more regulatory clarity in the first few months of 2021.

Brooks’ acknowledgement of the need to develop the use cases for blockchain technology gives us hope that financial regulation will soon shape around cryptocurrencies to prevent fraudulent activities on the blockchain, making for a straighter pathway for universal adoption. 

Brooks has been one of the most influential inside advocates for cryptocurrency adoption over the past year. In an interview at October’s DC Fintech Week, Brooks claimed that decentralized finance will soon replace traditional banking services, adding, “decentralization is very likely an unstoppable force out there. Decentralized networks, by definition, are cheaper, faster, and more resilient than any kind of centralized structure.” As internal recognition of the potential of decentralized finance occurs, we expect greater regulatory clarity for decentralized financial services as banks and large scale financial institutions establish their positions in the space.

Finally, in one of Brooks’ most recent statements, he gave permission for federally chartered banks and financial institutions to build, issue, and use stablecoins for payment activities as well as participate as transaction validators on the blockchain. Brooks’ guidance opens up an entire new horizon for banking capabilities through stablecoins and gives us great hope that further guidelines for large scale crypto use will follow.

While Brooks’ stay in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was a short one, much of his work gave the crypto community an inside look on what is to come for crypto regulations in near future, giving us hopes of yet another decade of crypto dominance as an asset class.

By Liam McDonald