What You Need to Know
- The Onramp Invest platform launch follows a beta test that was announced in April.
- Ritholtz Wealth Management, Gemini Frontier Fund and Eterna Capital are among the first investors in the platform, Onramp says.
- Challenges include reluctance by insurance carriers to cover advisors who dabble in crypto, Onramp CEO Tyrone Ross says.
The Onramp Invest alternative investment platform for RIAs has launched, with initial investors including Ritholtz Wealth Management and the first integration partners including Advyzon, Onramp Invest said Tuesday.
The launch follows a beta test that was announced by Onramp Invest last month. At the time, Onramp Invest CEO Tyrone Ross said he planned to launch the platform during the online Consensus 2021 conference that kicked off on Monday and told ThinkAdvisor that “pretty big names” would be among the group of 5-10 RIA firms expected to take part in the beta test.
There wound up being 17 RIAs in the beta test, including Ritholtz, Ross told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday. “All were very impressed with our read only access that allows them to now see their clients held away assets and excited to see the trading process come to life. We also received incredible feedback on our pipeline and vision for our billing process,” he said.
Onramp launched a full suite of resources for its multiple crypto asset Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that it said Tuesday were “designed to empower [RIAs] with the crypto asset knowledge and access they need to support the growing demand from their clients.” The new platform is out to first educate and then help advisors “navigate the rapidly evolving crypto marketplace” that has captured the attention of investors globally, it said.
The company also launched the Onramp Academy, in partnership with Galaxy Digital’s crypto funds division Galaxy Fund Management, Interaxis and CoinDesk (producer of the Consensus conference). The Academy was created to educate advisors, their clients and consumers about cryptoassets, helping investors make better strategic decisions, Onramp Invest said.
It is important that advisors “hear from people” in the crypto space through events including Consensus, Ross said during the event on Tuesday. “There needs to be books and research and data and conferences [because] the truth is a lot of this just hasn’t been there” for advisors until now, he explained.
One challenge that remains for traditional advisors, however, is that they still don’t know where to get educated on alternative assets and start offering them to clients, he said.
A potentially bigger challenge: Many advisors are telling Ross that their insurance providers won’t cover them if they offer crypto, he said.
“Our mission is to be the interstate of connectivity coordinating data flow and interoperability from the crypto-economy to traditional financial architecture,” according to Ross.
“As a financial advisor, I truly understand an advisor’s challenge when explaining a hot new financial topic to clients,” he said in the announcement. “We will give fiduciary advisors peace of mind, which they can then transfer to their clients.”
Onramp “sits at the intersection of financial and consumer technology and will leverage the talents of its team … to open doors and democratize access to crypto assets” including Bitcoin and Ethereum, it said.