Three facts led to the selection of this week’s FinTech theme:
1 Bitcoin prices hovered near $60,000 this week, up from a $50,000 mark only a few weeks ago.
2 Hester Peirce, who won the moniker “crypto mom” for her support of pragmatic regulation of cryptocurrencies, will continue as a Securities and Exchange Commissioner for another five years.
3 Several of the largest banks in the United States made noise–announcements, rumors, and investments–in support of digital asset offerings.
- Morgan Stanley plans to offer wealthy clients “exposure” to bitcoin, the first large U.S. bank to do so, Blockworks reports.
- Bank of New York Mellon invested in a cryptocurrency startup that builds tools for the secure storage and transfer of digital assets, as it ramps up its digital asset custody plans, according to MarketWatch.
- JPMorgan is “exploring” bitcoin and cryptocurrency clearinghouse options, sitting between traders and OTC desks to guarantee smooth trades and create liquidity, writes Forbes.
The bank announcements are not exactly all-in endorsements but show that they don’t want to be left out in the cold. Same with Visa’s announcement that it’s willing to “facilitate” bitcoin payments. Peirce’s reappointment and Senate confirmation—by voice vote—and her comments that digital assets are “clearly here to stay” likely caught bank executive’s attention.
“Big market implications” are at stake, Bloomberg noted in an article reporting that JPMorgan’s head of global research is carefully watching regulatory scrutiny of stablecoins, digital-asset tokens linked to the value of assets like the U.S. dollar. “Future regulation will need to focus on who is permissioned to issue global stablecoins and gain access to the Federal Reserve’s payment system,” JPMorgan’s Joyce Chang told Bloomberg.