Crypto Funds Face Investor Exodus as Interest Wanes
Investor activity in cryptocurrency-related products has dwindled significantly, with experts suggesting that the sector has been abandoned by investors who are unlikely to return in the near future. Global exchange-traded products tracking cryptocurrencies experienced outflows of nearly $172 million in the first half of 2023, following outflows of just $37 million in 2022. This decline contrasts with the record cash inflows of nearly $10 billion in 2021 and $6.7 billion in 2020. Despite a resurgence of over 50% for Bitcoin this year, cryptocurrency prices remain well below their peaks in 2021. Many investors, still recovering from last year's scams and company collapses, have lost their enthusiasm for the once-high-flying sector. The lack of mass appeal and excitement, combined with increased regulatory scrutiny and lower trading volumes, has contributed to the diminished interest in cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the tightening campaigns by central banks and the failure of cryptocurrencies to act as an inflation hedge have further dampened investor sentiment. The US Securities and Exchange Commission's crackdown on the industry has also added to the negative perception. Although some crypto-focused funds have performed well, attracting minimal investments and facing declining trading volumes indicate the fading interest in the crypto market. The industry is also grappling with a PR problem, as high-profile fraud cases have tarnished its reputation. As a result, cryptocurrencies have lost their shine, while other emerging technologies like artificial intelligence have garnered more attention from investors.