Oldest US bank BNY Mellon to hold Bitcoin for its customers
America’s oldest bank, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), said Thursday that it will now accept, hold and issue bitcoin for its customers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that BNY Mellon will eventually allow digital assets to be moved through the same system that managers use for more traditional holdings through a new platform that is currently in prototype.
“Digital assets are now part of the mainstream,” Roman Regelman, chief executive officer of BNY Mellon’s asset department, told The Journal.
BNY Mellon would begin offering this new service later this year.
The Journal notes that this is an important decision for a Wall Street bank, with many other institutions being skeptical of accepting digital currencies due to concerns about the regulatory risks involved. However, the growing value of bitcoin has caused many people to start accepting the relatively new cryptocurrency.
Regelman noted to the Journal that prior to this development, banks had used separate custodians for cryptocurrency holdings.
BNY Mellon is not the first major financial institution to allow the use of bitcoin, the Journal notes. Fidelity Investments announced in 2018 that it would store and trade digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether.
Mastercard also announced on Wednesday that it will start supporting cryptocurrencies. The company said the move was not meant to encourage others to start using digital currencies, but to allow customers to transfer all digital value “however they want.”
“This change can open merchants to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets and help sellers retain existing customers who want this additional option,” Mastercard said in a post explaining its decision.
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