The future of crypto is getting bright as Europe drives institutional crypto adoption. According to renowned speakers at Blockchain Expo Europe 2023 in Amsterdam, Europe continues to be a favorable legislative environment for the cryptocurrency ecosystem to grow.

As part of a Tech Expo event in the Netherlands, Cointelegraph visited the Blockchain Expo held at the RAI Amsterdam convention center for the second consecutive year.

The event often draws well-known participants from the mainstream financial sector to demonstrate how blockchain technology powers cutting-edge new products and solutions across various industries.

Blockchain technology and Web3 capability remain a vital growth area for numerous industry participants, including those in finance, logistics, healthcare, and marketing.

MiCA Bodes Well for Institutional Crypto Adoption

Europe Drives Institutional Crypto Adoption

As shown in a fireside chat with Coinbase institutional sales co-head James Morek and Zodia Markets co-founder Nick Philpott, regulatory issues remain a top priority.

Philpott characterized the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) laws of the European Union as a progressive regulatory approach to direct the development of the industry while safeguarding customers.

“Institutions feel more comfortable knowing that there is a framework within which they can operate, which is at odds with what is happening in countries like America.”

Philpott pointed out the US regulatory environment and the bitcoin industry’s uncertainty. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s separate enforcement actions against important industry participants for alleged securities violations have been the primary motivating factor. These participants include Coinbase, Ripple, and Binance.US.

Morek also oversees institutional sales for Coinbase in the EMEA and APAC areas. He emphasized the emergence of clear regulatory frameworks in the EU and the UK, which have aided businesses in the cryptocurrency industry in their operations.

Off-the-record discussions also indicate that big firms like Coinbase continue to draw institutional clients. These clients are interested in acquiring exposure to or custody of particular cryptocurrencies outside the United States.

These clients include many possible customers, including conventional fund managers, significant enterprises, private banks, and various industries. According to Morek, Coinbase currently has over 1,300 institutional customers worldwide.

Legal frameworks that have long permitted businesses to have onshore and offshore corporations are still crucial in enabling bitcoin exchanges and businesses to provide services in several countries.

Philpott also emphasized the United Arab Emirates as a rapidly expanding Web3 and cryptocurrency hub actively trying to draw in the biggest companies in the sector. Binance has already established a presence in the UAE, while Coinbase purportedly considered opening an office there in early 2023.

Future Tokenization

Europe Drives Institutional Crypto Adoption

Tokenization attracts many institutions, including traditional banks and financial organizations, aiming to issue and manage loans and investments.

Martijn Siebrand, the manager of ABN AMRO’s digital assets ecosystem, also spoke with Cointelegraph and provided insight into the Dutch bank’s recent issuance of a digital green bond to raise $5,3 million using Polygon’s layer-2 Ethereum scaling technology. Siebrand noted that blockchain technology is proving to be a valuable tool for banks to serve capital markets better:

“It’s funny, if we have now talks within the bank, people say capital markets have been there for a long time already yet we haven’t seen many innovations. This could be one major change where a lot of banks are investing in.“

 Siebrand added that ABN AMRO is already showcasing its blockchain-based digital bond experience:

“We see two tracks. We have the institutional one serving traditional capital markets. But we also have the chance to help clients that are too big for crowdfunding but too small for capital markets.”

NFTs Remain Valuable for Institutions

Europe Drives Institutional Crypto Adoption

Mia Van, Mastercard’s EMEA lead for blockchain and digital assets, discussed the utility of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) for institutional users. Van estimates the industry generated $1.9 billion in sales over the past year. These sales have increased the average number of Web3 wallets despite sellers’ recent dominance of NFT marketplaces.

Van claims that high-end manufacturers like Breitling and Louis Vuitton actively employ NFTs to deliver digital twins of products demonstrating their provenance. While this is happening, well-known companies like Adidas and Nike are investigating NFTs and metaverse activations that offer people ownership of items in both the natural world and the metaverse.

Additionally, Mastercard is quickly integrating into the Web3 environment. Animoca Brands announced a $30 million investment in the neobank platform Hi earlier this year. The platform’s customizable NFT-styled crypto debit card is one of its unique features. Users can personalize their Mastercard with NFTs in their digital collection, displaying their beloved Bored Ape in the real world.

Van declined to provide additional information about Mastercard’s blockchain and partnerships initiatives.

In conclusion, the conversation with prominent speakers at the Blockchain Expo Europe in Amsterdam suggests that bitcoin exchanges and businesses view the continent as a significant place for growth.