Oldest bank in the USA will begin accepting Bitcoin transactions.
Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are slowly making their way into the world of mainstream finance, with the price of Bitcoin having crossed $48,000 recently, and other tokens such as Ethereum also posting record gains. More and more people are showing interest in holding and using cryptocurrencies, while this has also been boosted by the fact that there are an increasing number of merchants who are willing to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment as well. This has meant that cryptocurrencies are seeing a boom like never before, and consequently big banks are now also coming around to allowing users to transact in crypto.
One of the biggest and oldest banks in the USA, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), is planning to allow clients to hold, transact and transfer bitcoin in their accounts soon, according to recent news reports. This will make it one of the first ‘big’ banks on Wall Street to begin allowing crypto transactions for ordinary users in its accounts directly. Prior to this, BNY and other banks had to work with custodial firms to manage their clients’ cryptocurrency holdings. Now, however, users will be able to hold cryptocurrencies through the same asset management system as is used for other orthodox investments such as equity and debt.
This news follows Bitcoin’s continued sharp price rise, especially in the last few months. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has nearly doubled since just mid-December, and is more than eight times higher than its value in March 2020. It is well on its way to hitting $50,000 sooner rather than later, and this rally has also been prompted by hedge funds and other big institutional investors getting into Bitcoin since January or so. One such example which originally sent Bitcoin soaring above $40,000 a few weeks ago was the announcement by Tesla, the autonomous car maker, that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, and it would also soon begin allowing customers to pay for their cars through cryptocurrencies. This announcement, along with earlier moves by the likes of PayPal and Square, as well as CEO Elon Musk’s well-established fondness for cryptocurrencies, shows how big companies are quickly jumping onto the crypto bandwagon.
It is also interesting that cryptocurrencies, as well as the underlying blockchain technology, are being considered for use beyond just the financial services industry. Both these technologies have applications that are beneficial to a whole host of sectors, with areas as varied as shipping, gaming, data storage and healthcare, to name just a few, adopting crypto and blockchain to improve their operations. One such case is of the online gambling sector, which has embraced both blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the last few months. One of the biggest reasons for this is that using crypto and blockchain makes online casinos a lot safer. Cryptocurrency transactions are almost impossible to hack, while a BTC online casino which uses blockchain will be able to safely store users’ data, as well as transaction data, while also ensuring that its games are fraud-proof as well, thereby increasing customers’ confidence in them. Thus, customers are much better-protected on such casinos, which has been a big reason for the increase in their popularity over this time, and shows how other industries can also adopt these technologies to improve their offerings for users.
In fact, BNY Mellon is also working on a platform to allow cryptocurrency trading in the same system as that for bonds and stocks, with these services being rolled out at some point later this year. Regulators also seem to be softening their stance towards cryptocurrencies, which has led to some experts stating that full crypto adoption in Wall Street will only take three to five years from now.