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WHY SOME BANKS ARE GETTING INTO CRYPTO EVEN AFTER THE CRASH

The crypto headlines of the first half of 2022 have been brutal: “Meltdown”; “Party Over”, “Crypto Winter” etc. What was non-stop free-to-play for those with a stomach for the ride has turned into a massive money drain, sucking nearly $2 trillion of the crypto currency’s value since bitcoin’s all-time high. In November 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Extreme volatility has virtually outlined the crypto’s journey since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009.

 

So, Game Over, Right?

not so fast. Various studies show that cryptocurrency ownership is still widespread in 2022. While crypto investors have collectively lost a ton of value, so have stock investors, with the S&P down 21% year-to-date as of the end of June.

Morning Consult’s 2022 State of Cryptocurrency report found that 17% of US adults said they or someone in their household owned a cryptocurrency. That’s down from a peak of around 23 percent in late 2021, but the same survey found that intent to buy crypto remains strong.

 

Waiting FOR ‘By THE Dip’:

How much was consumer intent to buy crypto from January to June 2022? Only three percentage points: 26% to 23%.

Based on a survey conducted in May 2022, The Ascent reported that 46.5 million Americans who have never bought crypto before are likely to invest in crypto for the first time in the next year.

Cryptocurrency is no longer only attractive to speculative investors. Every day, Americans are also investing in digital currencies. While predominantly white millennials, men, and high-income adults are more likely to own cryptocurrencies, Morning Consult found that the appeal is quite broad.

According to Morning Consult the main cryptocurrencies bought are: Bitcoin 75%, Ethereum 49%, Dogecoin 40% and USD Coin 37%.

 

Should Banks Reconsider Cryptostacks?

Banks and credit unions that have been wondering when and how they should become active in crypto markets after the crypto market crash may have just crossed off their to-do list. Based on previous data, this may be premature.

Today, the majority of cryptocurrencies go through exchanges like Coinbase. But many other players are involved in the business of buying, selling, storing and sending cryptocurrencies: Square’s Cash app is one example. Can traditional financial institutions play a bigger role in the future?

Quite possibly yes, if users mean what they say. In a 2021 survey, Bitcoin company NYDIG found that 81% of current Bitcoin holders will transfer their Bitcoin to their bank. Seven in ten would switch banks to access bitcoin products, and 83% would be interested in earning interest on bitcoin in a savings account, money market account, or CD.

Consumers may like the idea of ​​getting crypto from their financial institution, but many banks and credit unions are comfortable with that. According to Cornerstone Advisors, only one in ten financial institutions plan to introduce crypto services in 2022, and an additional 13% plan to launch a crypto service in 2023.

“The high-risk nature of cryptocurrencies plus a lack of regulatory clarity keep many banks and credit unions away,” said the chief operating officer of BankPro, a Massachusetts-based bank that provides cryptocurrency services to businesses and consumers. Officer Joe Mancini observes. He believes President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to dealing with crypto risks could make crypto more attractive to banks and credit unions.

“A regulatory framework will help set expectations about what financial institutions need and lead to more informed consumers and businesses,” says Mancini. “There is a myth that cryptocurrency is only used for illegitimate purposes. Ultimately, the order will lead to a safer environment for banks and credit unions to offer access to cryptocurrency markets.”

 

Crypto: Reaching A Major Provider Near You

While many financial institutions are taking a wait-and-see approach to cryptocurrencies, either because they are not convinced of the fundamental merits of t. Technology or because they are wary of significant volatility and lack of regulation, some banks and technology providers are actively moving forward.

For example, NYDIG counts the top three technology providers as partners. FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry seek to integrate crypto services into core and digital banking platforms. Additionally, Deloitte signed on to work with NYDIG to help banks and credit unions implement digital assets.

For Jack Henry, the partnership enables banks and credit unions to provide consumer and business account access to NYDIG’s buying and selling capabilities through its Bino digital banking platform and payments through the JHA PayCenter.

Jack Henry managing director Peter Gilliman says the company is working on its developer portal to facilitate integration with Jack Henry platforms in the crypto space, including Paraphantex. “Once opportunities present themselves, financial institutions can quickly act on them,” says Gilliman. ”

 

Banks Are Getting Into Position

One institution that is betting on cryptocurrencies is challenger bank Revolut. Launched in 2015, Revolut allows its 18 million users to buy cryptocurrencies and withdraw cash to their Revolut accounts. The minimum trade is only $1, but trades come with hefty commission fees.

Nashville-based First Bank, with $12.5 billion in assets, is laying the groundwork to move quickly when it feels the time is right. The bank is part of the five-bank USDF consortium, which aims to create a digital token on the blockchain that is issued in a one-to-one ratio for every dollar in circulation, explains Wade Perry, the bank’s managing director. The token, USDF, stands for US Dollar Forward.

“If we don’t join forces with fintech, we will lose components of our business as we did with the arrival of Venmo, Square and PayPal,” says Perry.

Perry says First Bank is holding off on offering its customers options to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies for now because it believes many customers — and bankers — don’t understand cryptocurrencies, at least. Less yet.

“The learning curve around crypto and blockchain is huge, and I’m not sure most bankers can explain these concepts to clients,” Perry says. “Consumers trust banks, so we need to be careful about what we post.”

First Bank is taking a multi-pronged approach to crypto currency, starting by identifying use cases and required frameworks and then building applications on the blockchain that can transfer money through tokenized deposits, inefficiently. By removing layers of processes.

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