Hundreds of U.S. banks will allow their retail customers to hold and trade Bitcoin in 2021 after Stone Ridge's crypto-focused subsidiary, NYDIG, inked a partnership with Jacksonville-based payment solutions provider Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), CNBC reports.
Patrick Sells, head of NYDIG's banking solutions, claims that the move will make it easier for ordinary Americans, as well as corporations, to get exposure to the largest cryptocurrency:
What we're doing is making it simple for everyday Americans and corporations to be able to buy bitcoin through their existing bank relationships.
While cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, as well as popular payment apps like PayPal and Square, remain the main avenues for crypto users, U.S. banks want to lure in some crypto-curious crowds to cash in on the craze, according to NYDIG president Yan Zhao:
They're seeing deposits going to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world.
In spite of the anti-banking sentiment that pervades the cryptocurrency community, an NYDIG survey indicates that some people are not willing to sign up with exchanges or other services in order to get into Bitcoin, showing preference to their banks.
Banking institutions are helping to push crypto into the mainstream while pocketing fee revenues during a new bull cycle, but it remains to be seen whether they will still be on board if things go south.
It is also unclear whether behemoths of the likes of JPMorgan will follow the example of smaller banks.