The traditional financial infrastructure and the very idea of money are changing before our eyes. The concept of “store of value” has largely been tied to the physical, like gold, or faith-based systems backed by governments, like fiat currencies. But like many outdated beliefs of eras past, this narrow definition no longer holds true.

Today, we’re witnessing the rise of digital assets. Though they share many of the same characteristics as traditional assets like liquidity and exchange value, digital assets offer unique advantages. Many are decentralized, meaning no single governing body or entity controls it; the supply is often finite, something that can’t be said about fiat currencies; and its digital nature makes it much more easily accessible, especially to underserved populations.

And these benefits haven’t gone unnoticed. People from all over the world have flocked to digital assets like BTC, ETH, and countless others. Retail investors are buying up cryptocurrencies at unprecedented levels. Institutions both traditional and digitally native have started embracing digital assets. Publicly-listed corporations like Tesla, Square, and Microstrategy have diversified their balance sheets with bitcoin, and even legacy financial institutions like Goldmans Sachs and JP Morgan are rolling out crypto products to their wealth management clients.

It’s clear that we’re now at a tipping point and mainstream adoption is not only inevitable, but it’s nearly here. But as we enter this next stage of global adoption, the future of the digital asset landscape looks very different than in the years prior, particularly as it relates to regulatory compliance.

That’s because digital asset regulation in the past was murky to say the least. Regulatory agencies struggled to define and classify digital assets as they rushed to get a deeper understanding of the new asset class. In turn, many institutions sat on the sidelines while awaiting regulatory guidance. But regulators around the world are now catching up to the demand for digital assets and moving quickly to establish clear requirements and guidelines for digital assets. With these better defined regulations, institutions are no longer on the sidelines.

If the digital asset ecosystem of the past was defined by exponential growth, the next stage of this ecosystem will be driven by sustainable growth–one in which regulatory compliance plays a key role in global adoption. We’re now entering the golden age of digital assets as the asset class gains recognition from regulators, investors and institutions alike. And contrary to popular belief, regulation is good for the industry; it will make digital assets more appealing by helping ensure assets and users are safe, something we prioritize at Huobi.

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