Bitcoin target: Bank of America arms itself for cryptocurrency war

It’s about time! Bank of America is the second largest bank in the United States. And it just set up a research team entirely dedicated to Bitcoin and crypto. Is traditional finance finally ready to take the plunge, offering bitcoin (BTC

) to its customers?

The “old” finance tipping

Bank of America (BOA) has justannounced

the establishment of

its new team dedicated to cryptocurrency research, perhaps marking a decisive rapprochement between traditional Wall Street finance and the investor frenzy for digital assets

.

“The [crypto] industry is currently valued at about $2 trillion, inflows into new ETPs/ETFs at $50 billion, and venture capitalists are investing significantly in crypto/blockchain companies. “

Candace Browning, Head of Global Research at Bank of America

While there has been little communication on the subject, BOA has been flirting with blockchain technology for years. In 2018, it had already filed a patent application for a limited-authority blockchain, available only by invitation. This is one of many such patents filed by the company. In 2019, it had already started hiring several blockchain positions.

A bank behind the times?

In fact, BOA has been slower than rival “mega banks” – such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs – which have recently given their clients the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin and cryptos. Also in the US is Morgan Stanley, which wants everyone to buy Bitcoin (BTC), with a plan to cash in on billions of dollars

.

BOA’s new crypto research team believes that things could “finally change” at the institution. However, the new department will be headed by finance veterans, not actual blockchain experts.

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Alkesh Shah, BOA’s current Head of Data Strategy and Innovation, will be heading up the department. He will report to Michael Maras, head of Fixed Income, Global Currencies and Commodities Research. When you know how intense and rich the crypto ecosystem is and how quickly it is changing, we wish the new team well in integrating the crypto dynamics into their schedule.

Banks seem to be increasingly looking to expand into the crypto world. Change is slow and there are still many barriers to entry, but many are already offering wealth management products or services that include – finally – digital assets. Some banks, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, have even started offering crypto-futures trading. Even Morgan Stanley seems to be hooked on blockchain and could see itself tokenizing the world

.

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