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Trends with Benefits #64: Institutions Embrace Crypto with Lauren Abendschein

September 07, 2021


In this week’s episode, I speak with Lauren Abendschein, Head of Institutional Sales at Coinbase. We discuss what the interworking of a crypto exchange looks like, the differences between a traditional brokerage versus an exchange and why institutions are becoming more comfortable with crypto.

Lauren and I begin our conversation by first establishing what Coinbase is—a crypto exchange. For many of us however, we may not know exactly what this entails. Lauren highlights that while a crypto exchange may be intimidating to some, it is very similar to a traditional exchange. The difference however, is that individuals can interact directly with the exchange. For example, Coinbase has various interfaces, each of which are customized for investors with different levels of knowledge and comfortability with crypto. Lauren also highlights some of the key factors investors should consider, when deciding which crypto exchange to work with.

While we have seen crypto embraced by several different investor types over the course of the last 12 months, institutional investors are no exception. Lauren explains how institutions saw crypto as a store of valuation in 2021 and highlights why she believes we will continue to see this natural evolution of the crypto marketplace unfold and progress, with continued participation by institutions and development of new products to come to market.

Trend or Fad

Listen for Lauren’s take on Inflation, bitcoin as a legal tender, hybrid work place, men’s makeup, podcasts and blockchain gaming.

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Please note that Van Eck Securities Corporation (an affiliated broker-dealer of Van Eck Associates Corporation) may offer investments products that invest in the asset class(es) discussed in this podcast.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker(s) but not necessarily those of VanEck. Commentaries are general in nature and should not be construed as investment advice. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward looking statements, which do not reflect actual results, are valid as of the date of this communication and subject to change without notice. Information provided by third party sources are believed to be reliable and have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Any discussion of specific securities/financial instruments mentioned in the commentary is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities. Fund holdings will vary. All indices mentioned are measures of common market sectors and performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Information on holdings, performance and indices can be found at

Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not generally backed or supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional currencies. The value of cryptocurrency may be derived from the continued willingness of market participants to exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrency, which may result in the potential for permanent and total loss of value of a particular cryptocurrency should the market for that cryptocurrency disappear. Cryptocurrencies are not covered by either FDIC or SIPC insurance. Legislative and regulatory changes or actions at the state, federal, or international level may adversely affect the use, transfer, exchange, and value of cryptocurrency.

Investing in cryptocurrencies comes with a number of risks, including volatile market price swings or flash crashes, market manipulation, and cybersecurity risks. In addition, cryptocurrency markets and exchanges are not regulated with the same controls or customer protections available in equity, option, futures, or foreign exchange investing. There is no assurance that a person who accepts a cryptocurrency as payment today will continue to do so in the future.

Investors should conduct extensive research into the legitimacy of each individual cryptocurrency, including its platform, before investing. The features, functions, characteristics, operation, use and other properties of the specific cryptocurrency may be complex, technical, or difficult to understand or evaluate. The cryptocurrency may be vulnerable to attacks on the security, integrity or operation, including attacks using computing power sufficient to overwhelm the normal operation of the cryptocurrency’s blockchain or other underlying technology. Some cryptocurrency transactions will be deemed to be made when recorded on a public ledger, which is not necessarily the date or time that a transaction may have been initiated.

  • Investors must have the financial ability, sophistication and willingness to bear the risks of an investment and a potential total loss of their entire investment in cryptocurrency.
  • An investment in cryptocurrency is not suitable or desirable for all investors.
  • Cryptocurrency has limited operating history or performance.
  • Fees and expenses associated with a cryptocurrency investment may be substantial.

There may be risks posed by the lack of regulation for cryptocurrencies and any future regulatory developments could affect the viability and expansion of the use of cryptocurrencies. Investors should conduct extensive research before investing in cryptocurrencies.

Information provided by Van Eck is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell an interest in cryptocurrencies.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met and investors may lose money. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Van Eck Associates Corporation

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