CNBC has heard that Bitcoin could be taking another turn toward mass acceptance. According to crypto custody company NYDIG, clients of certain U.S. banks will shortly be able to purchase, retain, and sell bitcoin from their current accounts for the first time. According to the two companies, the venture, which is a subsidiary of $10 billion New York-based asset manager Stone Ridge, has partnered with fintech behemoth Fidelity National Information Services to allow US banks to sell bitcoin in the coming months.
According to Patrick Sells, head of bank solutions at NYDIG, the service has now enrolled hundreds of banks. Although Suncrest, a California-based community bank with seven branches, is in talks with several of the country’s largest banks, many of the lenders have decided to join smaller entities. Until now, bitcoin users have relied on applications from a new wave of fintech companies such as Robinhood, a free exchange brokerage, PayPal, and Square, as well as crypto-focused companies like Coinbase. Banks, on the other hand, have avoided bitcoin for retail banking consumers, only recently unveiling plans to enable high-net-worth clients to gamble on the blockchain. According to Yan Zhao, president of NYDIG, banks are now requesting bitcoin because they see their customers transferring dollars to Coinbase, Kraken, and other crypto exchanges.
According to Rob Lee, hundreds of smaller banks join, giants like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase can face pressure to sell crypto to their retail banking customers. According to CNBC, Morgan Stanley was the first bank to sell bitcoin assets to its clients in March. However, it also means that the new era of brokers to trade crypto in the US is about to start, as the regulations and restrictions were the restraint factors before that. JPMorgan is allegedly looking at its own offering in partnership with NYDIG, and Goldman Sachs soon followed with its own announcement. Banks have relegated bitcoin to ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices with tens of millions of dollars in such cases.
“A large number of individual can’t invest money at the same scale as institutional investors can,” Zhao said. “Now that bitcoin can be bought with as little as $1 from your wallet, you have an appealing commodity that can be possessed by anybody of any number.”
The connection to lenders will be handled by Fidelity National Information, a provider to banks with nearly 300 million checking accounts, while bitcoin custody and trade execution will be handled by NYDIG. According to Zhao, disclosures would make it obvious that NYDIG, not the banks, will manage bitcoin, and the blockchain would not be FDIC-insured.
Fidelity National Information, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, provides links to applications such as chatbots and Apple Pay to banks. It’s also a major player in the payments market, having purchased processor Worldpay for $35 billion two years ago, making it the sector’s largest transaction to date.
According to Sells, banks can decide how much to charge their clients for bitcoin trading and will keep the majority of the commission income. After launching the initial bitcoin product, NYDIG expects to expand its offerings, including bitcoin-based debit card incentives and a new form of FDIC-insured bank account that pays bitcoin-based interest, he said.
According to a report conducted by NYDIG, more people would be interested to buy bitcoin if they could do so from their existing banks. This gives them a single vision of their financial holdings and eliminates the need to open an account with another entity and finance it with a three- to five-day money transfer.
But Why Are You Doing It?
According to Yan Zhao, the president of NYDIG, banks and financial institutions are responsible for monitoring millions of dollars that are transmitted to cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, and others on a regular basis. It’s a slice of the pie that they’ve been avoiding up until now, but not anymore.
It’s not only that the banks believe their customers want Bitcoin; they’re saying, ‘We have to do this because we see the data,’” Zhao explained, adding, “They’re seeing deposits flowing to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world.
With Bitcoin being available through your bank and able to be acquired for as low as $1, you now have an appealing asset that can be possessed by anybody, regardless of their financial situation. We believe that this is significant for economic empowerment, she continued, referring to the desire for Bitcoin services from general public audiences.
Mr. Robert Lee, the head of digital banking at Fidelity National Information, has stated that hundreds of small- and medium-sized U.S. banks might push bigwigs such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and others to offer cryptocurrency services to their customers in the future.
Such financial institutions have, to yet, only grudgingly provided Bitcoin trading services to high-net-worth individuals, with no such services available to the average private investor. But is it possible that this may soon change?
Customers are sending money to cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, and as a result, banks are seeking bitcoin, according to Yan Zhao, head of the New York Digital Investment Group. The banks aren’t only thinking that their customers want bitcoin; they’re also saying, “We have to do this because we see the statistics,” Zhao explained. They’re seeing deposits flowing to the Coinbases, Galaxies, and Krakens of the world, as well as other exchanges.
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