The Bank of New York Mellon, BNY Mellon, has set up a digital asset unit. The oldest bank in the U.S. plans to “hold, transfer, and issue” bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its clients. The bank aims to eventually treat cryptocurrencies like any other assets.
The oldest bank in the U.S., BNY Mellon, announced Thursday “the formation of a new enterprise digital assets unit that will accelerate the development of solutions and capabilities to help clients address growing and evolving needs related to the growth of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.”
BNY Mellon is a global investments company with a presence in 35 countries. As of Dec. 31, 2020, the bank had $41.1 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $2.2 trillion in assets under management, according to its website.
“BNY Mellon is proud to be the first global bank to announce plans to provide an integrated service for digital assets,” said Roman Regelman, the bank’s CEO of Asset Servicing and head of Digital. “Pending further evaluations and approvals, we expect to begin offering these innovative and industry-shaping capabilities later this year.”
The team will be led by Mike Demissie, head of Advanced Solutions at BNY Mellon. He commented:
The digital assets unit plans to deliver a secure infrastructure for transferring, safekeeping and issuing digital assets.
“Enabling the use of digital assets is critical to transforming the future of custody,” said Caroline Butler, BNY Mellon’s head of Custody. “Our digital asset capabilities should help evolve the way the financial industry operates, including custody, collateral management, issuance, investment management and other segments.”
While the bank’s official announcement does not mention which cryptocurrencies will be supported, the Wall Street Journal reported the bank “will hold, transfer and issue BTC and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its asset management clients.” The bank further plans to eventually treat digital currencies like any other assets.
Regelman explained that “Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream,” noting that “Until now, those money managers have had to use separate custodians for their cryptocurrency holdings.”
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