US banking giant BNY Mellon says digital assets are ‘here to stay’

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Michael Demissie, the head of digital assets at Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) is adamant that the cryptocurrency market fall in 2022 won’t waver institutional interest in digital assets. 

At a conference run by Afore Consulting on Feb. 8, Demissie said the digital asset industry is “here to stay” as institutional investors have held a strong interest in crypto.

“What we see is clients are absolutely interested in digital assets, broadly,” he said, according to a Feb. 8 report from Reuters.

Demissie backed up his thoughts by referencing a survey conducted by BNY Mellon in October, 2022, which found that 91% of custodian bank clients are interested in investing in blockchain-based tokenized products.

The survey also found that 86% of institutional players are adopting a “buy and hold” strategy, which may suggest that they see the cryptocurrency market as a long-term play.

88% of those surveyed also said the severe cryptocurrency market turndown in 2022 hasn’t changed their plans to invest in the digital asset sector over the long term.

Demissie did however state that more work needed to be done in Washington D.C. so that industry players can move forward with more regulatory clarity.

“We absolutely need clear regulation and rules for the road. We need responsible actors who can offer reliable services that live up to investors trust.”

“It’s important that we navigate this space in a responsible way,” he added.

On Feb. 2, BNY Mellon announced the appointment of Caroline Butler as the firm’s CEO of Digital Assets to help drive the next wave of adoption for the bank’s clients.

Butler was previously the CEO of custody services.

The appointment comes as BNY Mellon launched its own digital custody platform in October, 2022, offering selected institutional clients the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Earlier in February, 2022, BNY Mellon announced a partnership with on-chain metrics platform Chainalysis to help track and analyze cryptocurrency products.

Related: Clear regulations will accelerate crypto adoption, says SEBA Bank exec

BNY Mellon isn’t the only big bank making moves in the digital asset industry of late.

Goldman Sach was reportedly expressed interest in buying cryptocurrency firms after several were impacted by FTX’s catastrophic collapse in November.

While JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon isn’t a fan of Bitcoin, his firm has dabbled with blockchain-based services in recent times. In November, the firm successfully executed its first-ever cross-border transaction using decentralized finance (DeFi) on a public blockchain.

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