America’s second-largest banking institution’s relationship with Bitcoin has been fraught with criticisms and controversies, but that might be changing soon. According to reports, Bank of America(BofA) has approved the trading of Bitcoin(BTC) futures for some of its clients through a new service launched recently. The approbation marks a stunning u-turn on the bank’s long-held anti-crypto stance.
Bank of America Launches New Service for BTC Futures Trading
The institution’s first crypto initiative was revealed by two sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The sources explained that like most institutions, the bank is following a cautious approach to its new offering. As a result, only a handful of its clients have access to the new service due to the larger margins required to trade BTC futures.
One of the sources went further into detail and said that some customers are setting up cash-settled accounts to trade futures and one or two of them may have already gone live.
The bank will also be using CME futures, which were launched in 2017 and became the biggest Bitcoin futures exchange amid growing institutional interest this year.
Interestingly, the institution has been one of the biggest detractors of the bellwether cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, it published a paper in which it asserted that BTC was unsuccessful in serving investor needs as a store of value. Moreover, in March, one of its analysts commented that Bitcoin “has not been particularly compelling as an inflation hedge.”
However, at the beginning of this month, the bank debuted a new team focused on researching cryptocurrencies. At the time, Candace Browning, head of global research for Bank of America, acknowledged that “Cryptocurrencies and digital assets constitute one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems.” Therefore, it’s not surprising that the bank is actively pushing for the introduction of services that capitalize on Wall Street’s growing appetite for cryptocurrencies.
More Institutions Are Hopping the Crypto Hype Train
Bank of America isn’t the only institution confronting the changing dynamics of the market with crypto-focused offerings. Earlier this year, NYIDG teamed up with fintech company Fidelity National Information Services to enable American banks to offer Bitcoin buying, selling, and holding capabilities to their customers. Hundreds of banks have already enrolled in the program, which may compel other institutions to review their crypto services.
Additionally, Morgan Stanley started offering Bitcoin funds in March, followed by Goldman Sachs, which became the second investment bank to bet on Bitcoin. Ultimately, it seems that institutions are changing their positions while trying to catch up with the digitization of the financial services sector.