Digital assets are now being explored by global banking giants after years on the sidelines.
The biggest bank in Australia, Commonwealth Bank, will become the first institution to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold digital assets
Customers will soon be able to purchase crypto directly through the bank's main app through a pilot program. This is part of a new partnership between blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis and cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
The German savings banks reportedly are testing a trading network that would enable 50 million customers to buy and sell crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Further, the Swiss subsidiary of BBVA is now offering its customers digital accounts through which they can trade cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Financial giants Bank of New York Mellon and Fidelity offer cryptocurrency services to large institutions in the US.
It remains the slowest for mainstream banks to serve retail customers with crypto assets, but that may also begin to change this year.
According to a recent report from Reuters, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is exploring how banks can hold crypto assets.
A group of regulators is trying to develop guidelines to allow banks in the United States to support crypto assets, according to FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams.
During an interview on the sidelines of a fintech conference, McWilliams said we should allow banks to participate in this space while appropriately managing and mitigating risk:
The federal regulators won't be able to regulate it if we don't bring this activity inside banks.
As McWilliams explained, the FDIC is working with the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to create a set of clear and coordinated rules that will let US banks participate in the digital asset space.