Last week it was reported that JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), one of the largest banks in the world and the doyenne of Wall Street big banks, is providing banking services to both Coinbase and Gemini. More specifically, JPMorgan is providing cash management services like wire transfers, deposits, and withdrawals. JPMorgan is the first big bank to provide such a services as in the past banks have been rather reticent to offer services to digital asset exchanges and other “virtual asset service providers” or VASPs as FATF has labeled them.
As CypherTrace shared:
“[This] matters as cryptocurrencies continue to grow into a major asset class, the acceptance of cryptocurrency businesses by major financial institutions is inevitable. Traditional Financial Institutions are learning to successfully identify and mitigate the risks that comes from this new asset class.”
CypherTrace referenced an unnamed banker:
“I would expect that there are other associated benefits to JPM from any associated banking services, additional collaboration with both of those firms, potential for winning any future IPO [initial public offering] or another angle such as JPM coin being offered on either of those platforms.”
Ted Quek, CTO of Broctagon Fintech Group, a multi-asset brokerage platform and liquidity provider, said it is interesting to see how the tables have turned. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPM and one of the most respected professionals in the financial sector, called Bitcoin bogus. Dimon said “it wasn’t a real thing” and eventually the government will “shut it down.” Think again.
“A CEO who once called Bitcoin a ‘fraud’ is now recognising the real-use cases for crypto in financial services. It is a testament to how sector-wide attitudes are shifting. What was once regarded by many as ‘internet money’ is slowly stumbling its way into mainstream acceptance. Only recently, Paul Tudor Jones has also thrown his hat into the crypto mix, and now high-profile exchanges are receiving the backing of one of the most renowned financial institutions on the planet,” said Quek. “Public perception might be swayed by this move, but the institutional traders will still have some questions and concerns without a protective regulatory framework. It is becoming increasingly clear that crypto can no longer be cast aside and governments must act quickly to establish agreed-upon regulation for crypto and digital assets.”
Quek said the appetite for crypto is clearly there even though they are famously volatile with low volumes:
“Therefore, this could be a significant move in providing liquidity to the space and for crypto traders. Not only will this increase awareness for exchanges, but access to accounts and cash management tools can stimulate market activity. Having a major bank like this giving its clients access to cryptocurrencies opens crypto assets to a whole new market and will increase trading activity, Quek added. “While exciting, this is simply the beginning. We can expect a domino effect, where this particular move encourages other banking institutions to follow suit and potentially opens doors for the use of crypto in more services.”
Of course, JPM has already announced the creation of the JPM Coin – a cryptocurrency that may be utilized by individuals at some point in the future.
Recently, Libra, created by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), has backed away from its move to create a global, non-sovereign digital currency to more of a stablecoin to facilitate payments. Libra also has made several meaningful hires indicating its determination is undaunted in accomplishing its crypto dreams.
At this point it appears that digital assets are inevitable. It is just a question of how and when. JPMorgan has realized that it is better to have a seat at the table instead of casting dispersion from afar – while being left out of this global transition.