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Does BNY Mellon’s Crypto Plans Have Hamilton Rolling Over in His Grave?

Financial Services
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Image Credit: Todd Martin (Flickr)

The United States Oldest Bank Embraces Safekeeping Cryptocurrency Alongside Other Assets

The nation’s oldest bank, founded in 1784, began taking deposits of cryptocurrency today. BNY Mellon, with roots in the Bank of New York and Alexander Hamilton, is now the first large U.S. bank to custody client’s bitcoin and ether.

The bank will store the keys required to access and transfer crypto and provide the same bookkeeping services on digital currencies it offers for stocks, bonds, commodities, and other assets. BNY Mellon is one of the largest and most trusted in the business of traditional safekeeping; they now have made history by adding this additional service for investment managers to clear, service and safe keep digital assets.

As America’s oldest bank, BNY Mellon has a 238-year legacy on which to build. As a company it provided the first loan to the U.S. to fund the Revolutionary War and has weathered as many different financial eras as the country that it has helped build. Back in February 2021, BNY Mellon formed its enterprise Digital Assets Unit to develop services for digital asset technology. The goal was to launch the industry’s first multi-asset platform that provides safekeeping for digital and traditional assets.

“Touching more than 20% of the world’s investable assets, BNY Mellon has the scale to reimagine financial markets through blockchain technology and digital assets,” said Robin Vince, Chief Executive Officer and President at BNY Mellon. “We are excited to help drive the financial industry forward as we begin the next chapter in our innovation journey.”

Image Credit: Mark Holler (Flickr)

BNY Mellon recognizes the significant institutional demand for a resilient, scalable financial infrastructure designed to accommodate digital assets alongside traditional ones. The bank had previously surveyed money managers that use their safekeeping services and found almost all institutional investors (91%) are interested in investing in tokenized products. Additionally, 41% of institutional investors hold cryptocurrency in their portfolios today, with an additional 15% planning to hold digital assets in their portfolios within the next two to five years. Safekeeping them all under one system will benefit clients.

BNY Mellon has been working closely with market-leading fintech firms. The firm tapped digital asset technology specialists Fireblocks and Chainalysis to integrate their technology in order to meet the present and future security and compliance needs of clients across the digital asset space.

 BNY Mellon is a global investment company helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Clients include institutions, corporations, and individual investors. It delivers investment management, wealth management, and investment services in 35 countries. As of June 30, 2022, BNY Mellon had $43.0 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration and $1.9 trillion in assets under management. BNY BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK).

“As the world’s largest custodian, BNY Mellon is the natural provider to create a safe and secure Digital Asset Custody Platform for institutional clients,” said Caroline Butler, CEO of Custody Services at BNY Mellon. “We will continue to innovate, embrace new technology and work closely with clients to address their evolving needs.”

“With Digital Asset Custody, we continue our journey of trust and innovation into the evolving digital assets space, while embracing leading technology and collaborating with fintechs,” said Roman Regelman, CEO of Securities Services & Digital at BNY Mellon.

Take Away

The world is changing, and even the oldest bank in the U.S. is getting on board with the changes. The addition of BNY Mellon as a holder of cryptocurrency keys is a big nod to the crypto management industry. Portfolio managers of all sizes are now able to provide statements with a wider variety of asset classes held. Does this mean the newcomers that now transact and hold cryptocurrency will either be bought or lose potential large customers? That remains to be seen.

 Paul Hoffman

Managing Editor, Channelchek

Sources

https://www.bnymellon.com/us/en/about-us/newsroom/press-release/bny-mellon-launches-new-digital-asset-custody-platform-130305.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/crypto-could-threaten-financial-system-federal-risk-panel-warns-11664826496?mod=article_inline

https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-oldest-bank-bny-mellon-will-hold-that-crypto-now-11665460354?mod=djemalertNEWS

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