Asset managers will be able to store and move bitcoin through BNY Mellon, the world’s biggest custodian bank, later this year.
The $41 trillion-asset bank, which is also the oldest in the U.S., plans to eventually treat bitcoin, as well as other digital assets, like clients’ more traditional holdings by using a new platform that’s currently in prototype, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.
Though digital assets are “becoming part of the mainstream,” it could be another three to five years still before they’re fully integrated into Wall Street’s infrastructure, Roman Regelman, chief executive of BNY Mellon’s asset-servicing and digital businesses, told the Journal Thursday.
It is the first of the five major global custodian banks – which include State Street, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and BNP Paribas – able to offer a service for digital assets. JPM, Citi and Goldman Sachs are all exploring digital asset custody, however.
BNY Mellon began studying bitcoin closely in 2015; two years ago it collaborated with Bakkt, the bitcoin derivatives exchange owned by Intercontinental Exchange (which is also the parent of the New York Stock Exchange), to help it launch a custody service for digital assets; and it was the administrator, transfer agent and ETF custodian for Bitwise’s proposed ETF in the same year.