The United States's oldest bank -- Bank of New York MellonCorp. -- announced last week that it will hold, transfer, and issue bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its asset management clients. This announcement marks a huge milestone for bitcoin, pushing it into the Wall Street mainstream.
Prior to this announcement, many readers know that buying cryptocurrency meant working with a non-traditional custodian, like Coinbase. For giant custodians like BNY Mellon and Fidelity, this meant have some client assets custodied elsewhere. With an increasing number of institutional and retail investors flocking to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it made sense for BNY Mellon to step-in and try to take some market share.
The move to have bitcoin and select other cryptocurrencies custodied at BNY Mellon means developing a new platform, which is currently in beta. Otherwise, the digital assets would pass through the same 'plumbing,' and have the same security and insurance, as traditional holdings like stocks and U.S. Treasuries.
Cryptocurrencies by their very nature are hardly eager to enter the mainstream -- after all, they were invented as a means to circumvent archaic and outdated systems of fiat currencies and traditional contracts. However, with announcement's like BNY Mellon's, bitcoin and other cryptos take a step closer to becoming widely accepted as legitimate, which is a key step to longevity and ultimately, higher prices.