BNY Mellon Plans to Service Cryptocurrencies for Its Clients

BNY Mellon will hold, transfer and issue digital currencies, a step it said was the first by a global bank to provide clients with a service for assets that could include Bitcoin.

BNY Mellon formed a new team that’s developing a multi-asset digital custody and administration platform for traditional and digital assets, the company said Thursday in a statement. Mike Demissie, head of advanced solutions, will oversee the unit.

“We have seen a surge in interest and demand from clients, and it is only natural that we bring our legacy of trust and innovation to be a first-mover in bridging the gap between traditional and digital assets,” BNY Chief Executive Officer Todd Gibbons said in an emailed statement.

The move paves the way for the biggest custody bank to service digital assets including Bitcoin, according to a person briefed on the plans, who said there aren’t exclusions on the types of digital currencies the bank would service. The New York-based company expects to roll out the initiative later this year, Regelman said.

The digital-assets unit will provide an infrastructure for transferring, safekeeping and issuing cryptocurrencies, according to the statement.

“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,” Roman Regelman, CEO of asset servicing and head of digital, said in the statement.

Mastercard Inc. will start allowing cardholders to transact in certain cryptocurrencies on its network, it said Wednesday. That follows Tesla Inc., which said it invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin this week, sending the cryptocurrency to a record.

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