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To start with, BNY Mellon will offer custodian services to its clients, then move forward to what its clients demand most.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE: BK) alias BNY Mellon has revealed plans to hold, issue, and transfer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for its institutional clients later this year. Speaking in an interview, Mike Demissie, the head of advanced solutions at BNY Mellon said the bank will focus on the customers’ demand, besides the regulatory side.
To start with, BNY Mellon will offer custodian services to its clients, then move forward to what its clients demand most. “So that’s not just safekeeping of these assets, they want to leverage them for lending purposes, they want to leverage them for collateral. Then we are also looking at issuing digital assets, like tokenized securities, real assets,” Demissie noted.
BNY Mellon, Bitcoin and Crypto Industry
BNY Mellon prides on being one of the oldest banks in the United States with approximately $40 trillion in assets under custody and over $2 trillion in assets under management. Notably, its entrance into the crypto market will be a huge game-changer both for the retail and institutional investors. However, institutional investors are likely to benefit more from the move as they get access to a highly risky crypto industry.
As noted by news outlet Forbes, there has been a huge shift in institutional demand for digital assets in general seeking to diversify their balance sheet. In an email with the media outlet, Demissie noted that digital assets are the future, thus prudent for the bank to work towards secure platforms for digital assets.
BNY Mellon will venture into the crypto market at a time when the United States has offered much clarity into the industry. “Over the course of the last year, we have seen increasing regulatory clarity and guidelines to safely operate in the digital asset space,” says Demissie. Notably, the United States regulator, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, gave green light to banks to use both public and private blockchains to process payments and other activities.
Institutional investors are seeking for alternative assets to hold their cash into as the dollar continues to inflate fueled by the Fed printing to supply government needs, particularly the stimulus packages.
Although digital assets are viewed as highly volatile, most of them led by bitcoin have shown properties of the store of value over time. For example, as the United States dollar continued to lose value in respect to other notable global currencies, Bitcoin and most altcoins rallied exponentially last year. As a result, both retail and institutional investors have opted to use digital assets especially to counter the coronavirus market crisis.
Perhaps other banks will follow the same path and not only offer custodian services but also add digital assets to their balance sheet.