Big banks and financial companies capitulate to bitcoin

Sandra Loyd

The push of institutional investment in bitcoin, which intensified in 2020, has led to the incorporation of large banks and other financial institutions to investment plans in the first cryptocurrency. Institutions that had manifested, in the course of the last decade, a fierce opposition to bitcoin, now qualify it as a store of value and with merits to be included as part of the traditional investment portfolios of bonds and stocks.

In recent weeks several banks, among the largest or oldest in the United States, as well as global financial organizations, have expressed their support for bitcoin. There have been announcements of specific investment initiatives in the first cryptocurrency , or projects oriented in that sense.

As a summary of this change in perception about bitcoin, by the traditional financial world, the Twitter account @ DocumentingBTC published on Saturday, March 27, several headlines referring to financial institutions that showed a negative view of bitcoin, next to recent announcements that denote a substantial change in perception.

Bitcoin perception, yesterday and today

In the past upward cycles of 2011, 2013 and 2017 institutional investors were very scarce. The opinions of the institutions were very skeptical about bitcoin, as evidenced by a first fragment of the image published by @ DocumentingBTC .

An aspect of what bitcoin banks thought and their current opinion. Source: @DocumentingBTC /

These three pairs of Headlines from Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, respectively, show the radical change in views on bitcoin.

The first headline from the left, published on 25 December 2017, reflects the opinion of Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette, who, in a note sent to clients of that major investment bank, suggested that the real value of bitcoin could be $ 0. Bitcoin was trading at $ 14,400 at the time.

Three years and three months later, as the first headline on the right shows, Morgan Stanley announced that it will offer selected clients three bitcoin mutual funds , a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.

Another striking case of public rejection of bitcoin from the high level of management of a major bank, was carried out by JPMorgan in mid-September 2017, when its CEO, Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” and claimed that cryptocurrencies “are worse than tulip bulbs.”

Although the largest bank of The United States has not published in three years any rectification of that radical opinion against bitcoin, in practice it has taken a radical turn, as shown in the previous image. Not only has it recommended to its clients the inclusion of bitcoin in traditional investment portfolios, but it has notified the SEC that it will offer indirect exposure to bitcoin through a basket of shares of companies that have invested in it. cryptocurrency , as we have reported in this medium.

The third headline contrast in the previous image shows the opinion of Goldman Sachs, who at the end of May of the year The past offered five reasons why bitcoin “was not an asset class” or a “suitable investment.” Ten months later Goldman Sachs announced the reopening of its trading cryptocurrency table, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

Financial support to bitcoin is extended

As seen in the remaining segment of the image published by @ DocumentingBTC , not only major banks have backtracked their positions of rejection of bitcoin. Also, such important payment systems, such as Visa and PayPal, have taken a 180 ° turn in this regard.

In addition to major banks, Visa and PayPal have changed their attitude towards bitcoin. Source: @DocumentingBTC /

We see, for example , that the CEO of Visa, Alfred Kelly, when he was just occupying the top executive position of that firm, in January 2018, did not consider bitcoin “as a player within the payment system”, as reported at that time by CriptoNoticias.

A quick three-year preview shows Visa very willing to incorporate bitcoin into its operations. On March 19, Kelly recognized bitcoin as “digital gold”, and the multinational operator also made its first transaction with stablecoins in Ethereum, with a view to work with Bitcoin in the future.

Another emblematic case is that of PayPal, due to the strong statements against bitcoin of its CEO, Bill Harris, in April 2018. Harris named bitcoin in that opportunity as “the biggest scam in history.” As can be seen in the previous image, Harris’s statements are contrasted with a continued process within the payment operator favorable to bitcoin , at later dates.

Already last November, the current CEO of PayPal, Dan Schulman, had stated that the decision of that firm to buy and sell bitcoin was going to accelerate the adoption of this as a means of payment.

In the rest of the cases presented by @ DocumentingBTC , similar to those already discussed, the favorable attitude of Deutsche Bank towards bitcoin is highlighted, who recently declared that bitcoin was ‘too important to ignore’. Also, the change in attitude of the ING bank towards bitcoin is proposed, which is currently working on a cryptocurrency custody technology.

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