Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

As Treasury moves into cryptocurrencies, what’s your view?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

It’s been interesting to see two major firms – admittedly FinTech firms – commit to crypto in the past month: PayPal and Square. The fact that such big processors are committing is a sign of the times and a move towards many organisations embracing the cryptocurrency world.

If you didn’t see it:

Interestingly other firms are branching out into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a key part of their treasury operations. For example, Microstrategy increased its bitcoin holdings to $425 million and Mode – full disclosure: I’m on their advisory board – has allocated 10% of their cash reserves to bitcoin.

Mode stated that the reason for the move was to protect investors’ assets from currency debasement and inflation and to diversify away from low-interest instruments in order to maximise the returns from their recent £7.5 million funding round. This makes Mode the first public company in the UK to officially announce a significant purchase of Bitcoin as part of its treasury investment strategy.

What’s going on? Is bitcoin growing up? Are cryptocurrencies a serious option? Will treasury move from the dollar to BTC?

I’m not sure to be honest. These moves are interesting, but it doesn’t mean that everyone is reconstructing to be aligned with the crypto world. What it means is that the crypto world is becoming more interesting, however.

And it kind of leads into a debate between those who believe in crypto worlds versus those who believe in CBDC worlds. Which camp do you fall into? Or, more importantly, do you believe in both? Or neither?

I asked this question on twitter, but didn’t give the option for neither, and found it interesting that many believe both options offer a future alternative.

And several responders noted that I should have offered the choice: none of them.

The key core question here is: What do you believe in? Do you believe in the currency as an asset? What is that asset? What is it backed by?

This is a debate I have often on this blog, and it always comes back to the same thing: if the asset is backed by nothing and no-one, is it an asset? If it is backed by gold or by the Federal Reserve or by a bunch of millennials, which is worth more?

That’s the challenge: what is the asset you are buying and, more importantly, is it therefore an asset class?

Treasury operations are committed to ensuring they have the greatest spread of asset classes and, traditionally, would invest across property, oil, gold, currencies and more for those reasons. If you then start to move investments into alternative areas, such as cryptocurrencies, what is that asset class?

I ponder these questions regularly as it’s challenging us all. The challenge is this:

The cryptocurrency industry is well over a decade old with more than 5,500 different cryptocurrencies and a market capitalisation north of $350 billion.

Whilst undoubtedly there are a number of questions to consider, there are also a number of people who aren’t trying to find answers.  The final thing worth pointing out is that this also impacts those who have no interest in buying or holding crypto assets, and even less interest in predicting whether the treasury will move to BTC. Yet these people are now starting to invest in companies that are related to cryptocurrencies, such as Mode, Square and Paypal.



Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Digital Transformation Programme

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2022

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Best Financial Services Blogger

Chris’s latest book

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Global Awards

Best CEO of the Year UK 2022

Best Digital Finance Provider of the Year UK 2022

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Corporate America Today Annual Awards

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Nominee of MAD33 2021

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on Twitter!

UK’s most influential person in technology

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


TheNextWeb – #tnw

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser