- Cryptocurrency prices hit record highs last year, and Wall Street has taken notice.
- Amid growing customer interest, some banks unveiled crypto plans while others waited.
- Insider has compiled files on 10 of the crypto offerings, plans and key executives of the biggest banks.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
In August, Citigroup generated a buzz amid reports that the bank was launch efforts to trade bitcoin futures.
Insider announced in July that JPMorgan Chase – the bank whose CEO threatened to fire employees for trading bitcoin – had informed plans to allow wealth management clients to buy and sell a small set of crypto products. .
This spring, it was Goldman Sachs that caused a stir by launching a “new” crypto office trade bitcoin futures and derivatives – effectively a relaunch of the same effort he unveiled after the bitcoin price spike in 2017.
Keeping track of all the twists, turns and plans among banks trying to capitalize on the cryptocurrency boom can be dizzying. Insider has therefore compiled files on 10 of the biggest banks’ offerings – or the lack thereof – as well as key executives and public statements about digital assets.
We have the latest plans for crypto trading, custody, wealth management offerings, and more for:
Spoiler alert: Despite all the hubbub and digital ink spilled, the world’s largest banks have not embraced digital assets in any meaningful way. Trading crypto futures may seem exotic, but it’s not much different from any other trading of derivative companies through CME.
“It’s not difficult to trade bitcoin futures contracts. You just need to be able to trade futures contracts,” a large bank executive involved in digital asset strategy told Insider. “You all have the same pipes.
No major bank trades physical bitcoin or other cash cryptocurrencies – a riskier foray, and many institutions want a blessing from regulators to officially prosecute.
It might take a while. Regulators around the world have stepped up their scrutiny of crypto firms in recent months, taking them to task after years of inaction.
Global banking regulators in June strict capital requirements proposed for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – for the riskiest asset class a dollar of capital should be set aside for every dollar of exposure – given the risk of money laundering and price volatility .
“Unfortunately, this asset class has been rife with fraud, scams and abuse in some applications,” said Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. told the European Parliament in September. The SEC this month also threatened to sue Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, if it allows customers to earn interest on digital asset deposits.
But due to the gravity, global reach, and systemic importance of Wall Street’s major banks, if and when they dive headlong into digital assets, it will likely have immediate and substantial repercussions in the market. Many of these banks have invested millions in crypto or blockchain startups, but for this article we are focusing on the services that these institutions provide to their own clients, especially in the areas of trading, wealth management and custody.
Read on to see where each major bank stands when it comes to crypto. We will update the file with new developments.
Select executive quotes courtesy of financial data provider Sentieo.