US banks partner with crypto custodians

Grayscale Investments’ latest report “Reimagining the Future of Finance” defines the digital economy as “the intersection of technology and finance that’s increasingly defined by digital spaces, experiences, and transactions.” 

With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many financial institutions have begun to offer services that allow clients access to Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets. 

Last year, in particular, saw an influx of financial institutions incorporating support for crypto-asset custody. For example, Bank of New York Mellon, or BNY Mellon, announced in February 2021 plans to hold, transfer and issue Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an asset manager on behalf of its clients. Michael Demissie, head of digital assets and advanced solutions at BNY Mellon, told Cointelegraph that BNY Mellon had $46.7 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration and $2.4 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2021.

Following in BNY Mellon’s footsteps, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), stated in June 2021 that it would offer Bitcoin trading and custody services in Switzerland. Then in October of last year, U.S. Bank — the fifth-largest retail bank in the United States — announced the launch of its cryptocurrency custody service for institutional investors.

Alex Tapscott, ​​managing director of Ninepoint Digital Asset Group, told Cointelegraph that United States banks have been scrambling to launch crypto asset custody since 2020. “Crypto assets are a $2 trillion asset class and crypto-asset custody is a big business.” Tapscott added that last year was a turning point for many financial institutions, noting that on July 22, 2020, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, wrote a letter granting permission to federally chartered banks to provide custody services for cryptocurrency. As a result, many traditional banks began to incorporate crypto custody services in 2021.

Next steps

While notable, it’s also important to point out that traditional banks have started working closely with crypto custodians and sub-custodians to…



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