In a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance, Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan stressed that the banking giant was in no rush to dip its toes into cryptocurrencies.
“We are not missing on anything. We are driving payments through the roof,” Moynihan said.
While recognizing cross-border payments as a legitimate use case for cryptocurrencies, Moynihan said that stringent regulation prevents it from engaging with the nascent asset class.
Bank of America is limited to researching cryptocurrencies on the trading side, but it cannot go as far as managing customers’ accounts with digital assets. As reported by U.Today, the bank created its dedicated crypto research team last July.
“They’ve said ‘You have to ask us before you do it, and by the way don’t ask.’ It was basically the tone,” Moynihan commented on regulatory scrutiny.
"So, the reality is that we run a payments business across our platform. It was trillions of dollars a day. And almost all of it digital."
According to Bank of America’s most recent earnings call, digital channels 53% of the customers’ sales. Moynihan estimates that the bank has 54 million digital users.
The banker also recognized that Bank of America had “hundreds” of patents on the blockchain. In fact, it saw an 86% increase in blockchain-related patents in 2021.
Despite accumulating more blockchain patents than any other financial firm in the world, Bank of America is not necessarily sold on the technology. In 2019, Cathy Bessant, a member of the bank executive management board, said that she was bearish on the blockchain.