Crypto Winter Won’t Freeze Fintech’s Interest

Despite a bleak year, Brian Barnes, founder of personal finance platform M1, is convinced the future of crypto is still hopeful

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key takeaways

  • Despite the downturn, interest in and demand for crypto as a long-term investment is still very much alive
  • A survey M1 conducted of over 1,000 retail crypto investors in September 2022 showed the majority of those investors plan to hold their current crypto assets for more than six months

The 2022 crypto winter froze crypto companies’ growth and sparked investor sell-offs. But even with assets plummeting, industry insiders have continued to push forward through the downturn — restructuring teams, reshaping products and announcing new offerings for institutional and retail investors alike.

Why? To start, the fintech community has already doubled down on building long-term infrastructure around digital assets, while TradFi continues to pile in, catch up and push ahead.

Investors still care, too, as do the financial firms that serve them. Conversations about crypto have actually been reinvigorated over the past few weeks, with a great deal of overdue reorganization in the works.

BlackRock launched bitcoin investing for its big institutional clients. Mastercard and Binance launched a prepaid card, offering crypto rewards in Argentina. Nasdaq launched Nasdaq Digital Assets, offering custody services for bitcoin and ether to institutional investors. And a number of brokerages have opened the doors to crypto investing, including Stash’s new crypto offering, Fidelity’s new Ethereum Index Fund, and even my company, M1 and our launch of M1 Crypto.

So, why is this all happening, seemingly at the worst time possible? And where do the believers go from here?

Thinking long term

The answer lies in the retail investors themselves, who are driving the crypto movement. 

Despite the downturn, interest in and demand for crypto as a long-term investment is still very much alive.

Crypto is often viewed as a tool of day-traders and investors intent on making a quick dollar through constant buying and selling, but in reality, there is a strong group of believers keeping the crypto dream alive through their holdings.

That core sticks around. A survey M1 conducted of over 1,000 retail crypto investors in September 2022 showed the majority of those investors plan to hold their current crypto assets for more than six months. In fact, despite the crypto winter, only 21% of respondents plan on selling.

And there’s still so much left to build.

Over the coming year, we will undoubtedly see even more convergence of DeFi and TradFi. Institutional adoption will increase, and crypto companies and projects will continue to raise money to support new innovations in the industry.

As long as that fire is still lit, we can be assured that spring will come again.


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