(Bloomberg) -- Institutional acceptance of cryptocurrencies increased this year even as prices tumbled as more investors begin to view digital assets as worthwhile holdings, according to a Fidelity Investments survey. 

Nearly 60% of institutional investors surveyed said they were invested in digital assets in the first half of the year, a six-point increase from last year. The Institutional Investor Digital Assets Study found that four-in-five investors believe that investment portfolios should include digital assets.

The Fidelity Digital Assets study, now in its fourth year, hints that institutions are warming up to digital assets, despite the 50% or more plunge in most prices and a lack of regulation still shrouding the asset class. 

“While the markets have faced headwinds in recent months, we believe that digital assets fundamentals remain strong and that the institutionalization of the market over the past several years has positioned it to weather recent events,” said Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, which offers crypto custody and execution services for institutional investors.

The study surveyed more than 1,000 institutional investors, such as hedge fund managers and financial advisors, across the US, Europe and Asia. For those who invest directly in digital assets, Bitcoin and Ether remain the most popular choices. Ownership of Ether in the US increased five points year-over-year. 

More than 65% of respondents in both Asia and Europe said they owned digital assets, compared to just 42% of respondents in the US. 

Even so, respondents who do not yet invest in digital assets pointed to many of the same risks as investors did in last year’s survey. Price volatility, security concerns, and the risks of market manipulation remain top concerns. 

“While short-term price fluctuation is a characteristic somewhat inherent to this emerging asset class, many of the other concerns cited by respondents can be addressed as institutional investors move through their journey of education,” said Chris Kuiper, director of research for Fidelity Digital Assets. He added that if investors become more familiar with blockchain technology, they will be more likely to see the value of digital assets. 

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