Digital Assets vs. Cryptocurrency a Rebranding by Institutions

Digital Assets vs. Cryptocurrency

This is a short post regarding a change in terminology/rebranding from cryptocurrency to digital assets. 

Tony from Thinking Crypto on YouTube inspired this post and he goes into more details in his video (below). 

In 2017 the buzz word was “blockchain”. You heard people on TV, and in news articles touting “blockchain not bitcoin” – I’m not exaggerating.

Publicly traded stocks would add the word “blockchain” to their name and spike in price in the same day. The (in)famous “Long Island Iced Tea” changed its name to “Long Blockchain Corp” and the stock price soared >280% the same day. There was a lawsuit after that. 

Blockchain was the buzzword. People associated Bitcoin with fraud, criminals, money laundering – inappropriately as we know. Eventually, people started talking “Bitcoin” again and thoughout 2018 there was certainly less stigma around Bitcoin. I hear/read a lot less about blockchain nowadays. 

However, with the soon incoming institutional investors, there appears to be a more wholesome change in language away from cryptocurrency and towards “digital assets”. 

Cryptocurrency vs. Digital Asset

The word cryptocurrency encompasses not only Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Monero, ZCash, BNB, EOS, TRX, NEO, stablecoins, etc, but also all of the other, failed, mostly useless cryptocurrencies that spawned during the ICO frenzy of 2017 and early 2018. 

Conversely, Digital Asset encompasses cryptocurrency, but also includes any tokenized asset that is not considered a true currency, such as tokenized real estate, or security tokens. 

The term Digital Asset is being utilized by institutional players such as Bakkt, ErisX, Fidelity (Fidelity Digital Assets), Bitstamp, Xapo, Templum as well as Galaxy Digital (merchant bank dedicated to digital assets and blockchain tech industry), Greyscale, and more. 

As Tony states,

Cryptocurrency is one facet of the new asset class that is being built under digital assets. Digital assets is more of an overarching name or theme and then crypto is specific, and then you have maybe utility tokens, tokenized securities, digital stocks, asset-backed tokens (similar to tokenized securities).  

Tony, Institutional Money Rebranding Crypto as Digital Assets – Bakkt, Fidelity & ErisX – Token Economy, YouTube Channel: Thinking Crypto

It seems as though the industry giants are rebranding and recategorizing the tech behind cryptocurrency as digital assets. 

This seems very appropriate and logical to me. First, it makes more sense. Second, it is more palatable to large institutional investors to invest large sums of fiat. And whatever satisfies their interest to expand the cryptocurrency industry I am ok with. 

For a re-fresher on cryptocurrency topics visit this page.

You can check out the whole video from Tony below! Great channel, highly recommend that you watch, like, and subscribe. 

Hope you enjoyed this short post!

Please feel free to drop a comment, question, or note for me. I love hearing from my readers

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Author: Markshire Crypto

Millennial cryptocurrency investor, writer and marketplace researcher. Founder of Markshire Crypto. Mark has been involved in the cryptocurrency industry since 2017, following the industry daily and creating content.

8 thoughts on “Digital Assets vs. Cryptocurrency a Rebranding by Institutions

  1. Thank you for this article and the entire website actually. I have been trying to find an enjoyable way to learn more about the crypto, blockchain and so on and your site, and this article provides simple and easy to understand information that I find greatly beneficial. You seem to be passionate about this topic and I can feel that coming through in your writing as well. Tony seems to be the same way. He speaks about crypto falling under the overarching umbrella of digital assets via the token economy. I actually thought they were two distinctly different form of currency so it is good to be pointed in the right direction there. How does that impact your website though? I actually like the website name – markshirecrypto. I note from the video that most large businesses are moving away from including crypto in their speak, and I believe this will trickle down to the smaller fish who will also replace it with more acceptable terms like digital assets. Do you think this will affect your website which has crypto included in the name and in most of its menus? I hope it does not because I think I have found a great source for information on ‘digital assets’ – smile. Otherwise the site and the articles are great. The site has a freshness to it that draws me in. Keep up the good work.

    1. That you for the compliments! 
      That is a great point. I think that “crypto” and “cryptocurrency” were its original names, and it may provide some authenticity and emphasize that my site was around from “early on” before they changed their name for it. At a deeper level though, it is all the same. Digital Asset vs. Cryptocurrency. Digital Asset is more palatable to the big institutional players, whereas cryptocurrency was the original term from the cypherpunks who created Bitcoin (the original cryptocurrency). 
      I think that digital assets will permeate society very deeply in the next 5 years. Time will tell though!

  2. I noticed the cryptocurrency craze in 2017 and 2018 happened to be a bubble. I had a lot of friends and acquaintances investing in it and I think a few made some decent money early on. I’m not sure how they did after the crash since they quit posting about their earnings.

    This is also my first time hearing of digital assets, so I’ll definitely keep an eye on that and see where it’s heading as the industry rebrands. 

    1. Hi Todd, yes there was a huge frenzy and a lot of FOMO in 2017 and early 2018. I first heard about crypto myself in 2010 or 2011, Bitcoin was super cheap, less than $1. I thought it was illegal money, so I didn’t buy any… how wrong I was!! 
      Suffice to say, I gained interested again very early in 2017 when Bitcoin was about $1000. I’ve followed the space closely ever since and decided to share my knowledge with this website. 
      As for how your friends did… well that just depends on how early they bought. If they bought in early 2017 (before May 2017) then they are still ahead. I would recommend holding for the long term. 

  3. Hi Markshire. Honestly, I’ve learnt a lot from this post today. Anyways thanks to you for writing and sharing this educative post about digital assets and cryptocurrency. I had no idea about digital assets, I guess I’m so lucky to find this post. The video is great. I’ll definitely check the channel 

    1. Yes, I love Tony’s “Thinking Crypto” Channel. I highly recommend it, I listen just about daily. He also has a podcast of the same name if you prefer podcasts. 

      I’ve also made a post on additional cryptocurrency resources if you are interested in learning more. 

  4. Hey there,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this article as you’ve provided us with lots of valuable information. I’m in the process of gathering both of them because I think that both are equally important. Since your an experienced person, I want to ask you this question. Which ONE of the TWO that you’ve mentioned has a bright future?

    1. Hey AV2001, the term Digital Asset is a more broadly encompassing term. It has cryptocurrencies under its umbrella. For that reason, I can’t actually answer your question. However, I think that within the Digital Asset umbrella, both cryptocurrencies and digitized stocks/bonds/ETFs will all be highly successful as it simplifies the financial space and significantly reduces costs. 
      With the ability to verify ownership via public-private key pairs, ownership of stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc is easy to identify and take action with respect to paying out dividends, voting rights, transfer of shares over a blockchain etc. 
      Great question though!

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