Bank of America Corp. has assembled a new team of experts to study cryptocurrencies, led by Alkesh Shah.
Bank Of America Puts Together Crypto Team
According to a report from Bloomberg on Thursday, Bank of America has formed a cryptocurrency research team in an attempt to profit on the growing interest in the digital asset market. Alkesh Shah would lead the new crypto research team, and the research would focus on technology related to the digital asset sector.
In the message, Candace Browning, Bank of America’s head of worldwide research, stated,
Cryptocurrencies and digital assets constitute one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems. We are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform, and our blockchain expertise.”
Bank of America is the latest in a long line of US banking giants to play big on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, and a number of other big US banks have begun to offer Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment vehicles to their clients.
For years, Bank of America has dabbled in blockchain technology, crypto’s more reputable cousin. It filed a patent application for a permissioned, or invite-only, blockchain to record internet-of-things (IoT) node data in 2018, one of many patents it is pursuing, and it began hiring for many blockchain positions in 2019.
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Institutional Investors Continue To Invest
Institutional demand for crypto products has reached an all-time high, and despite the lack of a regulatory framework, these financial behemoths have discovered a way to provide compliant investment vehicles to their institutional clients. JP Morgan, which is not a huge fan of Bitcoin, was compelled to establish a Bitcoin fund in response to rising customer demand, while Goldman Sachs, which previously termed Bitcoin a speculative asset, now includes the digital currency among the best-performing assets.
In the absence of a regulated Bitcoin product, Wall Street giants have turned to private crypto funds, which buy cryptocurrency and issue shares for investors to trade. Former regulatory heads have also urged on the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF to provide investor protection and offer greater transparency to the market, as demand for a Bitcoin ETF has risen dramatically in recent months.
Even the country’s oldest bank, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BNY Mellon), has revealed plans to offer crypto custody to its customers. The bank also stated that in the long run, it intends to integrate digital currencies into its legacy systems.
BYN Mellon has joined a slew of major banks, including Italy’s largest bank, Banca Generali, in getting into the crypto game in the previous year.
The volatility of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) has been challenged by several Bank of America experts. “We do not lend against cryptocurrencies and do not bank companies whose major business is cryptocurrency or the facilitation of cryptocurrency trading and investment,” CEO Brian Moynihan told the Senate Banking Committee in May.
The increased investor demand for cryptocurrencies, as well as Wall Street engagement, has compelled regulatory authorities to look into crypto rules. Many people believe that the SEC will soon set the basis for crypto legislation.
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