The era of American banks regarding cryptocurrencies as evil might be coming to an end.
According to a report by CNBC on Wednesday, New Digital Investment Group has inked a partnership with fintech staple Fidelity National Information Services, better known as FIS, to provide a framework for United States banks to offer crypto trading services to their customers.
Patrick Sells, bank solutions chief at NYDIG, told CNBC that several banks have already signed up for the program, with the majority being smaller financial institutions. However, Sells also added that the company is in talks with major U.S. banks to participate in the program.
According to the NYDIG executive, major names such as Bank of America and JPMorgan may be incentivized to come on board once smaller banks begin to reap the rewards of retail crypto trading adoption. BoA is among one of the staunchest anti-crypto banks in the U.S., regularly disputing the value proposition of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.
As part of the collaboration between NYDIG and FIS, participating banks will be able to offer direct crypto trading for their customers straight from their existing accounts.
Banks greenlighting crypto trading could see U.S. lenders competing with platforms like Robinhood, Coinbase and Square, among others. About 9.5 million customers traded crypto on Robinhood’s platform in the first quarter of 2021.
Indeed, NYDIG president Yan Zhao said that the massive revenue being reported by the likes of Robinhood and Coinbase was the kicker for U.S. banks to set their sights on retail crypto trading:
“This is not just the banks thinking that their clients want bitcoin, they’re saying ‘We need to do this, because we see the data.’ They’re seeing deposits going to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world.”
U.S. lenders offering retail crypto trading will also constitute a 180-degree reversal on the consensus among financial institutions in the country regarding cryptocurrencies.
The likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley recently announced plans to offer Bitcoin funds to institutional clients.