BNY Mellon Launches Digital Assets Platform Featuring Bitcoin

BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon is introducing a new unit focused on advancing the growth of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

The country’s oldest bank is the first global financial institution to announce plans to launch an integrated service for digital assets, Roman Regelman, CEO of asset servicing and head of digital at BNY Mellon, said in a Thursday (Feb. 11) press release

“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,” he said. The new service should be available later in 2021 pending approvals.  

The digital assets team will be led by Mike Demissie, head of advanced solutions at BNY Mellon. He is working on a prototype “designed to be the industry’s first multi-asset digital custody and administration platform for traditional and digital assets,” the company said.

“The Digital Assets unit plans to deliver a secure infrastructure for transferring, safekeeping and issuing digital assets,” said Demissie. “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.”

The bank said that tapping into the blockchain and other new solutions, it will improve custody and other investment services.

“Enabling the use of digital assets is critical to transforming the future of custody,” said Caroline Butler, head of custody at BNY Mellon. “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.”

Mastercard has said it will start integrating cryptocurrency capabilities this year, joining Square, PayPal, BlackRock and others in the move to include digital currencies. 

The heightened visibility and celebrity endorsement of bitcoin and other digital currency has moved cryptocurrency and the blockchain into the mainstream. Bitcoin has been skyrocketing to all-time highs.