Bank of New York Mellon, America's oldest bank, has said that it will begin financing bitcoin and other digital currencies.
The bank has plans to eventually allow digital currencies to pass through the same financial network it currently uses for more traditional holdings.
“BNY Mellon is proud to be the first global bank to announce plans to provide an integrated service for digital assets,” Roman Regelman, CEO of asset servicing and head of digital at BNY Mellon, said in a press release.
“Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions, and improving regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field,” he added.
The BNY Mellon executive also said that, pending product analysis and approvals, the bank should begin offering the services to its customers later this year.
In the past, major banks have expressed concerns over potential regulatory or legal risks involved in banking the cryptocurrency market. But as prices of bitcoin and other digital assets have continued to rise, they have become more popular with asset managers, hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Bitcoin, off to a robust start to 2021, was up 7.7 per cent to around USD 48,250. The digital currency has rallied more than 60 per cent since the start of the year.
Individual investors and businesses alike have grown more comfortable with digital currencies as high-profile business leaders including Tesla CEO Elon Musk throw their weight behind a handful of assets.
Tesla disclosed earlier this month that it purchased USD 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.”