Bank of America has created a team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies and related technologies, according to an internal memo reviewed by CoinDesk.
Cryptocurrencies and digital assets are “one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems," Candace Browning, Bank of America’s head of global research, wrote in the memo, which was first reported by Bloomberg.
"The sector is currently valued at about $2 trillion, inflows to new ETP/ETFs at $50 billion and growing and venture capital firms are making significant investments in crypto/blockchain companies," she wrote. B of A is “uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform and our blockchain expertise.”
Bank of America has flirted with blockchain technology, crypto’s more respectable cousin, for years. In 2018, it filed a patent application for a permissioned, or invite-only, blockchain to record internet-of-things (IoT) node data, one of many such patents pursued by the company, and in 2019, it began hiring for several blockchain positions.
The group will be headed by B of A veteran Alkesh Shah, a founding member of the North Carolina-based bank’s data and innovation strategy group, and will report to Michael Maras, head of the bank’s global fixed-income, currencies and commodities research team.
UPDATE (July 8, 18:30 UTC): Adds more detail from internal B of A memo.
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