CEO of Financial Services Giant Charles Schwab Calls Cryptocurrencies ‘Hard to Ignore’

“We would welcome the chance if the opportunity presents itself from a regulatory standpoint,” said Charles Schwab’s CEO on Wednesday


Charles Schwab headquarters, San Francisco. Credit: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Charles Schwab’s CEO said crypto is “hard to ignore” and would welcome the opportunity to trade the asset if the “opportunity presents itself from a regulatory standpoint”
  • The CEO also said there was a “tremendous void” in the crypto space for a firm like Schwab to fill

In another sign of growing institutional interest in crypto, the CEO of financial services behemoth Charles Schwab gave a rare insight into how his firm is thinking about the nascent asset class.

During an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Walt Bettinger said cryptocurrencies are “hard to ignore” and that in today’s world they are “fairly significant.”

“We have a lot of ways that clients today can invest in crypto. What we don’t offer is direct trading. We would welcome the chance if the opportunity presents itself from a regulatory standpoint,” said Bettinger amid a raft of questions ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic to remote working.

Regulation in the US has made significant headway in recent years. Yet a patchwork of regulatory measures and guidance still looms, giving pause to some of the world’s largest financial firms to enter into the space. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden looks poised to increase oversight on Wall Street and crypto activity in what could create a clearer runway for the bigger players.

Charles Schwab is one of the world’s largest financial services firms with assets under management of over $7.5 trillion and revenue of around $11.69 billion, according to a recent Q3, 2020 quarterly report. Its services range from banking and investing as well as wealth management advisory.

“There’s a tremendous void in that space today for a firm like Schwab,” said Bettinger before pointing out that crypto’s transaction costs in trading were “exceptionally high” as well as its spreads.

A spread refers to the difference between the bid price and asking prices of a security or asset.

Bettinger’s comments echo sentiments already acted upon by the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, which leaped at the opportunity last year to take a stake in two bitcoin miners, Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain.

The move follows one by another large financial services firm, Fidelity Investments, which took stakes in the two miners.

BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink said, in October, “huge opportunities” existed in crypto and bitcoin is “going to help consumers worldwide,” although he fell short of predicting where the asset class would sit in the long term.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.


TUES, OCT. 8, 2024

Guided by the expertise of Blockworks Research Analysts team, this one day event will feature senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers from across the crypto industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience to explore the latest trends, […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report cover graphics (1).jpg


Wormhole is a suite of open-source, permissionless protocols used to move assets and queries across blockchains.  Despite being a common misconception, Wormhole is not just a token bridge. Nevertheless, protocols can build token bridges on top of Wormhole by leveraging the cross-chain messaging provided.


Ether is a commodity just up until the point it is not, or, ether is not a commodity just up until the point it is — whichever you prefer


The bull-market conference was filled with good feelings but little clarity on where the crypto industry is headed next


The Friday ruling was issued as a default judgment because Sameer Ramani “appears to have fled the country”


Bitcoin’s previous record high against the Euro was set in September 2021


As bitcoin ETFs grow larger and more liquid, due diligence teams at wirehouses and other investment firms are more likely to clear them, Bitwise researcher says



The TRON DAO team attended ETH Denver, one of the leading events in the blockchain space