(Bloomberg) -- Money managers who have avoided the many ups and downs of cryptocurrencies may be feeling relieved for having done so, according to a senior investment strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. 

“As an asset class, crypto is effectively nonexistent for most large institutional investors,” Jared Gross, head of institutional portfolio strategy at the bank, said on this week’s episode of Bloomberg’s “What Goes Up” podcast. “The volatility is too high, the lack of an intrinsic return that you can point to makes it very challenging.”

In the past, there used to be some hope that Bitcoin could be a form of digital gold or haven asset that could provide inflation protection. But it is “self-evident” that hasn’t really happened, Gross said.

“Most institutional investors probably are breathing a sigh of relief that they didn’t jump into that market and are probably not going to be doing so anytime soon.”

Listen here: JPMorgan Has Its Eye on Globalization Backlash in 2023 (Podcast)

Crypto prices rallied in 2020 and 2021, boosted in part by a number of traditional finance players getting into the space or at least voicing support for it. This was an important development for crypto enthusiasts, who saw that type of embrace as giving credence to the nascent industry. 

But digital assets have suffered mightily this year as the Federal Reserve and other major central banks around the world have raised interest rates to fight historic inflation. 

Such a less-accommodative environment has been deleterious to crypto. Bitcoin, the largest token, has shed 60% of its value in 2022, and Ether has tumbled roughly 70%. 

Bitcoin on Friday was trading around $16,800 — down from around $50,800 a year ago. 

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