Tim Grant, Galaxy Digital’s head of Europe, said today that crypto is becoming more trusted and “a bit less bananas.”
“This is the end of the beginning, now we’re in the next phase where it’s a bit more institutional, a bit more buttoned-up, it’s a bit more trusted and a bit less bananas,” Grant said at the Token2049 conference in London today.
Marcus Hughes, head of Europe at Coinbase, agreed with Grant’s assessment, saying the narrative surrounding the crypto industry has shifted.
“NFTs and various other things have captured mainstream consciousness,” he said, adding that while in the past buying Bitcoin for investment purposes was all the average person knew about crypto, now, there is a “whole range of products and services powered by crypto.”
Europe’s burgeoning crypto scene
The apparent maturation of the crypto industry—according to Hughes and Grant—has been particularly evident in Europe.
Charlie Morris, chief investment officer of ByteTree, said “Asia was huge, until the China ban, and now Europe is really punching its weight.”
Based on the global distribution of Bitcoin nodes, Morris appears to be right, given the fact that Germany is in second place for the most active Bitcoin nodes in the world, second only to the U.S.
Another reason behind Europe’s (and the world’s) increasing pivot to crypto is the booming NFT space, which has taken the market by storm throughout most of the year.
NFTs driving crypto awareness
After generating $2.5 billion in sales during the first half of the year, NFT sales hit a lull, before coming back with a resurgence led by household name brands like Visa and Budweiser.
While some commentators would consider NFTs a craze, Grant of Galaxy Digital believes their best days are ahead.
“Sitting at the kitchen table with the kids, and I was explaining NFTs. It took 30 seconds to explain because they play Fortnite. This innate notion of digital assets that you can buy and sell is innate to that generation,” he said, adding that this is why NFTs have been so useful in mainstreaming the modern crypto economy.