- The evolution of Wall Street’s crypto capabilities is seen as a signal of mainstream adoption.
- Some banks are launching crypto trading desks and offering crypto funds to clients.
- Here’s a rundown of which Wall Street banks are doing what – and the execs leading the efforts.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In August, Citigroup generated buzz amid reports that the bank was launching efforts to trade bitcoin futures.
Insider broke the news in July that JPMorgan Chase – the bank whose CEO once threatened to fire employees for trading bitcoin – had greenlit plans to let wealth-management clients buy and sell a small set of crypto products.
This spring, it was Goldman Sachs causing a furor by launching a “new” crypto desk to trade bitcoin futures and derivatives – effectively a relaunch of the same effort it unveiled after the bitcoin price surge in 2017.
Keeping track of all the twists, turns, and plans among banks trying to capitalize on the cryptocurrency boom can be dizzying.
So Insider has compiled dossiers on 10 of the largest banks’ offerings – or lack thereof – as well as key executives and how they’re thinking about digital assets. Subscribers can read the full list here.
Bank of America
Crypto services offered: Trading crypto futures
Key executives: Tom Montag, chief operating officer and president of global banking and markets
On the record: “In terms of cryptocurrency, we have a policy that we’ve stated, and we haven’t changed them. But we always are looking at what’s going on in the markets to understand, both from the investment side and the transactional side, what’s the interest of the customers out there and do we need to rethink our position,” CEO Brian Moynihan said on April 20.
Analysis: Bank of America has been more cautious than peers about wading into the crypto waters. Before this spring, there was no formal strategy, and the board of directors wasn’t interested in touching the space, according to a person familiar with the firm’s deliberations on digital assets.
In 2018 the bank barred its wealth advisors from engaging with cryptocurrencies and warned clients to take caution. But CEO Brian Moynihan said at the annual shareholders meeting this April that the firm was open to rethinking its policy.
Powerful investment-banking and trading exec Tom Montag has been fixated on crypto and leading the charge on exploring opportunities. The firm approved trading bitcoin futures for some clients in July. But the fate of digital-asset projects at the risk-averse bank is uncertain, given that Montag, a primary proponent, is retiring at the end of the year. A spokesperson for Bank of America declined to comment.