VIPs are venturing into encryption, but many consultants are still hesitant

VIPs are venturing into encryption, but many consultants are still hesitant

“I think the Onramp platform will make it easier for those advisors who want to get their clients allocated to crypto to do so,” according to Joel Bruckenstein, head of Technology Tools for Today (T3). Movement, but Slowly “Based upon our experience last year when we had Ric Edelman,” founder of Edelman Financial Engines, “organize a half-day seminar on crypto, it seems to me like there is movement in that direction, but it has been slow to date,” Bruckenstein told ThinkAdvisor by email Tuesday.

Onramp is a crypto-asset integration platform for financial advisors led by investment advisor Tyrone Ross. It is championed by a number of prominent figures in the advisory industry; it lists Danielle Fava of Envestnet, Jamie Hopkins of Carson Group, Jason Wenk of Altruist, Douglas Boneparth of Bone Fide Wealth and Anthony Stich of Advicent among its advisors and investors. But ongoing challenges, including the Securities and Exchange Commission postponing a decision on approval of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund — continue to cause hesitation among advisors, RIA firm executives and industry experts told ThinkAdvisor.

Dynasty, for its part, has teamed with Eaglebrook Advisors to offer Bitcoin and other digital asset investment strategies to its network of independent advisory firms. The launch in late May of Onramp Invest — with Ritholtz Wealth Management as an initial investor — and Dynasty Financial Partners rolling out its first crypto options for its advisors could help persuade more RIAs and other advisors to start offering cryptocurrency to their clients.

But, echoing Bruckenstein, he said: “The RIA industry has always been a conservative, ‘fast follower’ marketplace. RIAs want to wait and see if a new trend or approach has staying power, and doesn’t blow anyone up.” His prediction: “Once there are some credible firms that have passed the guinea pig stage, then look for broader adoption. In this case, crypto has so many unknowns still that it does take time, but inevitably, RIAs and the ecosystem that supports them will customize solutions and then it is off to the races.” Meanwhile, Timothy Welsh, president, CEO and founder of consulting firm Nexus Strategy, said he believes “when industry leaders like Dynasty and Ritholtz embrace something new, then that portends well for the future.”

In addition, “more education is needed” in the advisor sector, he said. “I think when the SEC starts approving crypto ETFs it will lend further legitimacy to crypto as an asset class.” “Most advisors are a conservative bunch, and it takes time for newer ideas to get fully vetted and accepted in the marketplace,” he pointed out.

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