Cryptocurrency custody firm NYDIG has teamed up with fintech behemoth Fidelity National Information Service to allow U.S. banks to offer bitcoin (BTC) in 2021.
Bitcoin is ready to take another big step forward in its quest toward widespread acceptance and use. For the first time, select U.S. banks will soon have the ability to buy, hold, and sell BTC via existing accounts. This is according to crypto custody firm NYDIG.
NYDIG, a subsidiary of NYC-based asset manager Stone Ridge, announced their partnership with fintech company Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to aid in their project.
Another big step for cryptocurrency
The head of bank solutions at NYDIG, Patrick Sells, has announced that hundreds of banks have already signed up for the program. The majority of these banks that have signed up are smaller institutions, but NYDIG is in talks with some of the biggest banks in North America, hoping to bring them on board. Sells said:
“What we’re doing is making it simple for everyday Americans and corporations to be able to buy bitcoin through their existing bank relationships. If I’m using my mobile application to do all of my banking, now I have the ability to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin.”
Up until this point, new bitcoin traders were forced to rely on apps and find third-party payment solutions. Now, instead of having to learn how to navigate an entirely new system, customers can just access cryptocurrencies through their current bank.
U.S. banks are finally ready to incorporate digital currency
Traditional banks and cryptocurrencies don’t generally play well together. Thus far, most banks have resisted the temptation to dive into the digital currency market. It seems that U.S. banks have now changed their tune and adopted an “if you can’t beat em, join em” mentality.
Banks are watching customers pull more and more money out to send to crypto exchanges. These exchanges are taking money from the pockets of traditional banking services with little signs of slowing down.
“This is not just the banks thinking that their clients want bitcoin, they’re saying, `We need to do this because we see the data,’” says Yan Zhao, president of NYDIG. “They’re seeing deposits going to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world.”
With smaller banks jumping on board, industry giants like Bank of America could face pressure from their customers to follow a similar path and introduce cryptocurrency. So far, these institutions haven’t exactly ignored digital currency, but they have yet to fully embrace it.
Morgan Stanley was an early bank to offer BTC funds to clients. Goldman Sachs announced their plans to do the same shortly. Even companies like JPMorgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “dangerous fraud” in 2017, are exploring crypto options.