As crypto traders debate whether Bitcoin (BTC) is going to $25,000 or $15,000 first, the world’s largest financial institutions are laying the groundwork for mass adoption. The proverbial floodgates are unlikely to open before the United States provides a clear regulatory framework for crypto, but regulators and industry insiders are confident that guidance could come in 2023 at the earliest. In the meantime, megabanks like BNY Mellon, whose roots date back to 1784, are entering the space.
This week’s Crypto Biz chronicles BNY Mellon’s foray into digital assets, JPMorgan’s ongoing experimentation with blockchain technology and Crypto.com’s new European headquarters.
BNY Mellon, America’s oldest bank, launches crypto services
Arguably the biggest story of the week was news of another established financial institution entering the crypto sphere. BNY Mellon, whose predecessor was founded 238 years ago, announced the launch of a digital custody platform to safeguard clients’ Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) holdings. Initially, the platform will serve select U.S. institutional clients. “With Digital Asset Custody, we continue our journey of trust and innovation into the evolving digital assets space while embracing leading technology and collaborating with fintechs,” said Roman Regelman, the bank’s CEO of securities services and digital. To get a sense of just how massive BNY Mellon is, the bank holds $43 trillion in assets under management as of 2022.
SWIFT action: JPMorgan and Visa team up on cross-border blockchain payments
JPMorgan continues to experiment with blockchain technology and digital assets even after its CEO attempted to dismiss the sector as a Ponzi scheme. Now, the U.S. financial institution is partnering with Visa to streamline the use of its private blockchain for cross-border payments. The partnership centers around JPMorgan’s Liink blockchain, which has been designed specifically for cross-border transfers, and Visa’s B2B connect, a cross-border payment network for banks. As Cointelegraph reported, it seems like the duo wants to develop an alternative to SWIFT, the dominant global network for secure messaging and transactions.
Crypto.com invests $145M in new European headquarters
2021 was the year of sponsorships for Crypto.com. Now, 2022 is shaping up to be the year of regulatory approvals. In light of regulatory traction in Europe, the crypto exchange announced this week that Paris, France, would become its new European headquarters. The company plans to spend roughly $145.7 million to establish its presence in France. Additional resources will be allocated to boosting the exchange’s presence across the region. It looks like Crypto.com is positioning itself for the next bull market. Most of its casual retail users probably won’t open the app until then.
We’re excited to deepen our commitment and presence in France, by making Paris our new European regional HQ
Full details:https://t.co/nBoixpyMHi pic.twitter.com/EhkbKYUOZQ
— Crypto.com (@cryptocom) October 12, 2022
Stellar Development Foundation launches $100M fund to support native smart contract adoption
Stellar doesn’t get nearly as much airtime as it did during the 2017 crypto bubble, but the network is still working to spur adoption and innovation on its Soroban smart contract platform. This week, Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the nonprofit organization supporting the development of the Stellar network, announced it had launched a $100 million fund to incentivize developers to build on Soroban. Timer Weller, SDF’s vice president of technology strategy, told Cointelegraph that Soroban was developed to overcome the “friction” of existing blockchain networks.
Before you go: $25K or $15K BTC — what comes first?
Bitcoin’s price action is starting to look eerily similar to 2018’s “range from hell.” And we all know what happened after that (BTC would eventually plunge from $6,000 to roughly $3,200, marking the final bottom for the cycle). In this week’s Market Report, I sat down with Benton Yaun to discuss BTC’s price trajectory and how the latest CPI inflation data could impact the market. You can watch the full replay below.
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Disclaimer: This newsletter was updated to reflect BNY Mellon’s total assets under management, which is $43 trillion.