These include claims that investors are “too early” or “too late” to participate, while the report also considers the impact of early technology adoption.
“We believe that cryptocurrencies are viable investments today, even though they remain in the early stages of their investment evolution. We recommend professionally managed private placements for now, as the investment landscape is still maturing,” Wells Fargo said.
The ‘too late to invest’ argument
Wells Fargo does not believe it is too late to invest in crypto.
“We understand the ‘too late to invest’ argument but do not subscribe to it,” the report reads. “We believe that focusing too much on past performance, especially with cryptocurrencies, can be misleading to new investors.”
Wells Fargo added that performance numbers are “skewed” because most cryptocurrencies’ prices evolved from virtually zero, and that the earliest years of crypto were “highly speculative.”
“Using Bitcoin as an example again, its first real-world transaction did not occur until May 2010, 16 months after its creation,” the bank added.
Wells Fargo also argues that cryptocurrencies are still a “relatively” young investment space, and that they represent a “different kind of investment” owing to the complexity of the technology that is used to support them.
Why is it still early enough to invest?
Wells Fargo’s main argument is that it is still early enough to invest in cryptocurrencies because of what the bank has observed from global crypto adoption rates.
The bank also cites a commonly used analogy between Bitcoin and the internet, arguing that “cryptocurrencies have been following an adoption pattern similar to other new advanced technologies, such as the internet,” adding that it often takes many years for real adoption to occur.
“These adoption percentages are similar to what we are seeing today with cryptocurrencies,” the report reads.
Looking ahead, Wells Fargo is of the view that cryptocurrency use cases are starting to make sense to the wider world.
“Data shows that the world is beginning to embrace the technology—and quickly. According to Crypto.com, the number of global cryptocurrency users reached 221 million in June 2021, or just under 3% of the world’s population,” reads the report.
What can investors do now?
Wells Fargo has three pieces of advice for those interested in cryptocurrency.
Firstly, be patient. “There is no need to rush, as most of the opportunity lies before us, not behind us,” the report says.
Secondly, investors ought to be prudent—claiming that qualified investors turn to professional management through private placements.
Lastly, Wells Fargo recommends being careful.
“Early-stage investing is often fraught with violent boom and bust cycles, as many a dot-com company and investor can attest from 20 years ago. More than 16,000 cryptocurrencies exist today, and if history is any guide, many will fail (or at least fail to scale),” the bank said.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.