Bitcoin is booming, digital currency hedge funds are sprouting at the rate of two a week and the value of all cryptocurrencies has surged tenfold this year to more than $170 billion.
Yet for all the hype, mainstream institutional investors are steering clear of the nascent market, taking the view that it is too lightly regulated, too volatile and too illiquid to risk investing other people's money in.
Bitcoin, the biggest and most well-known cryptocurrency, has outperformed all the world's traditional currencies each year since 2011, except for 2014. But many investors still view it as an opaque, esoteric instrument used by gun-runners and drug-dealers on the Dark Web that should be avoided.
This year, though, a flood of new hedge funds focused on cryptocurrencies has offered institutional investors who might be unfamiliar with the market a potential route into the world of digital currencies.
According to Autonomous NEXT, a financial technology research house, 84 so-called crypto hedge funds have been launched this year, taking the total to 110 with about $2.2 billion in assets altogether.
But the fact most of the funds are relatively small with a limited track record - and that cryptocurrency price swings have been so pronounced - means the world's pension funds, insurance companies and large mutual funds are staying away.