Most Top Global Banks are Crypto-Friendly, CoinGecko Study Reveals

Cryptocurrencies have gone through a lot, with regulatory pressure mounting on the industry currently. Governments are gearing towards crypto regulation but some are going to the extreme, seemingly destroying the industry.

Interestingly though, recent data reveals that most major global banks are crypto-friendly. The survey conducted by CoinGecko showed that 74% of the world’s top 50 banks by asset under management support crypto trading.

The study assessed how crypto-friendly each of the top 50 biggest banks are in 2023, especially in terms of ability to trade or facilitate on-ramping of cryptocurrencies natively or through licensed crypto exchanges.

The report shows that the top 3 largest crypto exchanges by trading volume and Trust Score are Binance, Coinbase and OKX, as of July 21, 2023. They were selected because of their global reach and compliance with crypto regulations in many countries to determine the ability of the banks in question to connect to a crypto exchange.

In spite of this seemingly encouraging report, the study also reveals that the adoption of crypto by big banks has slowed.

“The adoption of blockchain-based solutions by big banks has been relatively slow compared to other sectors. Strict regulations, market volatility, and recent high-profile failures of exchanges like FTX have hindered the integration of cryptocurrency trading into these large banks,” the report said.

Asian banks behind in crypto adoption

Although most major global banks are in support of crypto, there are some that still have a firm stand against crypto. Leading in this group are Asian banks, and China is taking the lead with all the 13 banks that do not allow connections based in China.

This is expected, because China has a long history of anti-crypto stance, with the People’s Bank of China banning financial institutions from making transactions in virtual currencies in 2013. The quest to create a digital Yuan is part of the strategy to keep the crypto market under state control.

However, the administrative region of Hong Kong is open to crypto, and likely to pull back China into the crypto market. Hong Kong’s crypto-friendliness is expected to:

“spread to the rest of mainland China, with the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park Management Committee releasing a white paper on Web3 technologies at the end of May,” the report said.

Institutional trading getting popular

Although openness to crypto has slowed generally, banks seem to be open to institutional trading in particular. This has made institutional trading to become a growing trend among banks.

“However, blockchain technology is still firmly in the scope of big banks. Institutional clients have been able to get exposure to cryptocurrencies natively for some years at several banks:
“JPMorgan was the first bank to develop its own digital currency, JPM Coin, back in 2019 on an internally developed, private version of Ethereum,” the report stated.
Banks are also developing more interest towards full retail crypto trading through partnerships with crypto custody firms. For example, the Swiss digital asset safekeeping company Metaco has signed deals with several banks among the top 50 in consideration.
Neobanks such as Revolut and Wirex are currently taking the lead in native crypto trading. However through institutional trading, these banks may eventually accommodate retail investors as well, giving room to more banks opening their doors to cryptocurrencies

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