Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the United States, has agreed to allow bitcoin contracts to be traded for some customers, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to Coindesk.
According to these sources, the bank, like most institutions, has been conservative in its approach towards the cryptocurrency sector, but has now decided to allow some clients access to the cryptocurrency market.
The other source said that some clients are preparing to trade bitcoin futures, and one or two may have already launched.
In March, Goldman Sachs confirmed its plans to re-launch its crypto-trading desk after a three-year hiatus, and in May, the investment bank began buying and selling bitcoin futures in pooled trades through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). With Cumberland DRW as a business partner.
According to the same sources, Bank of America will use the CME futures contract.
Bank of America declines to comment:
Earlier this month, it emerged that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank had set up a team dedicated to researching cryptocurrency and related technologies.
In 2018, Bank of America banned financial advisors and clients from trading in bitcoin-related investments, but that policy has now changed.
CME Bitcoin futures were launched in 2017.
In May, CME launched its “micro bitcoin” futures product in an effort to take advantage of the bitcoin price rally.
Earlier this year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange took the number one spot on the list of the largest bitcoin futures trading platforms, indicating a continued rise in institutional participation.
Total open interest in the bitcoin futures market is $11.3 billion, down 59% from the April 13 peak of $27.3 billion, according to Arcane Research.
The bottom line:
The news is still not official yet, but it proves that large financial institutions are still interested in Bitcoin, and are seeking to include it in their lists and financial products.