BNY Mellon to offer crypto services in digital asset push

Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK.N) is adding cryptocurrencies to assets that it holds as a custody manager, as it looks to attract a diverse set of investors and traders by tapping into the popularity of bitcoins and ethers.

Trading in cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed worldwide, drawing many traditional institutions to an asset earlier shunned by Wall Street due to its wild swings and sharp regulatory scrutiny.

Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) and BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) have already rolled out custody platforms for their clients, as they look to gain a foothold in a market dominated by players such as Coinbase Inc (COIN.O) and Binance.

BNY formed a unit in 2021 to develop solutions for digital asset technology, tapping companies Fireblocks and Chainalysis, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Crypto is really just the “tip of the spear”, but tokenized assets hold a lot of promise despite being the least developed, said Michael Demissie, head of digital assets and advanced solutions at BNY Mellon, adding that a recent bank study showed over 90% of institutional investors were looking to invest in the segment.

The 238-year-old bank won the approval of New York’s financial regulator earlier this fall and is the first of the eight systemically important U.S. banks to store digital currencies and allow customers to use one custody platform for both its traditional and crypto holdings, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday.