The recent news regarding Tesla’s big bitcoin purchase appears to have every major company and financial organization thinking about digital currency. The latest one with bitcoin on the brain is New York-based BNY Mellon, one of the largest and oldest banks in the United States.
BNY Mellon Is Offering the Crypto World More Legitimacy
BNY Mellon currently manages more than $2 trillion in assets, though up to this point, none have been digital. Now, the company says it will begin holding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of all its customers, marking another major jump for digital currency into mainstream territory.
The head executive of BNY Mellon – Mike Demissie – commented in a recent interview that institutional interest is growing like crazy. He says demand from customers is just getting too big to ignore, and thus the bank has no choice but to say “yes” to digital currencies. He states:
There’s an overall sentiment shift with respect to digital assets. Digital assets are the future… We’re experiencing heightened interest from current clients who are seeking exposure to digital assets. We are also seeing new demand from prospective clients, particularly digital native companies in the digital asset space, who are looking for BNY Mellon’s core investment services… Over the course of the last year, we have seen increasing regulatory clarity and guidelines to safely operate in the digital asset space.
Over the past six months, several institutional players have come out to publicly proclaim their support for the world’s number one digital currency by market cap. The company that arguably started this trend was MicroStrategy, which at press time, has purchased more than $3 billion worth of BTC. From there, companies like MassMutual and Stone Ridge also purchased BTC amounts of around $100 million.
But it’s the recent $1.5 billion BTC purchase from Tesla that appears to have really gotten many additional firms jumping on the crypto bandwagon, as now companies such as Twitter and Uber claim they are looking into the possibilities of allowing bitcoin payments in the future – something that Tesla is also considering.
Roman Regelman – head of digital at BNY Mellon – provided a statement, explaining:
Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions and improved regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field. Pending further evaluations and approvals, we expect to begin offering these innovative and industry-shaping capabilities later this year.
Some People Aren’t Too Pleased About BTC
Strangely, all this comes at a time when U.S. regulators appear hellbent on limiting bitcoin and crypto activity. New Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has commented that the “misuse of cryptocurrencies” in America is a huge problem, claiming:
I see the promise of these new technologies, but I also see the reality. Cryptocurrencies have been used to launder the profits of online drug traffickers. They’ve been a tool to finance terrorism.