BNY Mellon can now custody its customers’ crypto: WSJ

Quick Take

  • Starting this week, BNY Mellon is able to receive “select customers’” bitcoin and ether for custody. 
  • America’s oldest bank will custody customers digital assets alongside traditional investments on the same platform using software developed by Fireblocks. 

Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), the oldest bank in America, is enabling customers to custody digital assets alongside traditional investments on the same platform, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. 

The bank won approval from New York’s financial regulator in the fall and can start receiving “select customers” bitcoin and ether this week, according to the report. 

Founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784, BNY Mellon is the world’s biggest custody bank with over $43 trillion in assets under custody.  

The bank told the Journal that it is the first of the eight systemically important US banks to allow customers to use one custody platform for both its traditional and crypto holdings. 

BNY first unveiled its plans to custody digital assets for investment firms in February 2021. It has since integrated its crypto custody business into its core accounting platform, said the report. 

The platform goes live with select investment-fund firms this week. The bank is exploring expanding crypto custody to additional clients based on regulatory approvals, the report said. 

The bank is using software developed with Fireblocks to store the keys required to access and transfer digital assets. 

Fidelity was one of the first traditional financial institutions to enter the crypto custody space. The firm has been providing crypto services since 2018 through Fidelity Digital Assets. 

Banking giants JPMorgan and Citi are also exploring crypto custody services. Last year, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency allowed national savings banks and federal savings associations to offer crypto custody services to their customers. 

The Block contacted BNY Mellon for comment. 

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.