BNY Mellon stakes out role in cryptocurrency space
Bank forms unit to offer custody and investment services for digital assets
18 Feb 2021 | The Asset

BNY Mellon has formed a unit to help clients issuing or investing in digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. The cross-functional, cross-business team is developing a prototype designed to be the industry’s first multi-asset digital custody and administration platform.

The announcement came as the price of Bitcoin continued to surge, with a number of institutional investors and corporations expressing interest in joining the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

The digital assets unit, to be led by Mike Demissie, head of advanced solutions at BNY Mellon, will leverage advanced solutions such as blockchain, the technology behind digital assets, to enhance its custody and other investment services.

Demissie says the unit plans to deliver a secure infrastructure for transferring, safekeeping and issuing digital assets. “Consistent with our open-architecture approach, the unit will leverage BNY Mellon’s digital expertise and leading technologies from fintechs and other collaborators to speed up product development and help our clients tap into the best available solutions in the market,” he adds.

Roman Regelman, chief executive officer of asset servicing and head of digital at BNY Mellon, comments: “Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions, and improving regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field. Pending further evaluations and approvals, we expect to begin offering these innovative and industry-shaping capabilities later this year.”

Caroline Butler, head of custody at BNY Mellon, notes that enabling the use of digital assets is critical to transforming custody services. “Building the bridge between the traditional and digital spaces will create a front-to-back ecosystem for innovation. Our digital asset capabilities should help evolve the way the financial industry operates, including custody, collateral management, issuance, investment management and other segments where BNY Mellon is a key service provider.”

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