Half of the World’s Top 100 Banks Have Invested in Crypto

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  • 55 out of the top 100 banks have some kind of exposure to crypto and blockchain-related firms and startups.
  • Most of these banks are interested in investing in crypto custody.
  • Recent growth along with consumer demand has pushed the banks toward crypto.

More than 50% of the world’s top 100 banks in terms of assets under management (AUM) are investors in the blockchain and crypto sector.

A recent report by Blockdata, a blockchain market analyzer, claims that 55 of the top 100 banks have some form of exposure to crypto and its underpinning technology. The report says these banking giants have invested in a number of major crypto and blockchain technology-focused firms and startups.

However, the report stresses that not all of the aforementioned banks have direct exposure to this emerging technology. Instead, some are exposed to crypto through subsidiaries.

Some of the banks have been exceptionally active when investing in the industry. Among them, Barclays, a British multinational universal bank, has invested in 19 crypto firms. Citigroup, an American multinational investment bank, has invested in 9 crypto initiatives while Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase have invested in 8 and 7 firms, respectively.

While it is not precisely clear how much money these banks have invested cumulatively, it is projected that Standard Chartered, a British multinational banking firm, has invested the most, pouring around $380 million in the industry.

The report reads:

Despite being very vocal about how bad Bitcoin supposedly is, many can’t ignore the potential revenue streams and importance of having a strong strategic position in the crypto economy.

Where Are Banks Investing The Most?

Data by Blockdata reveals that most of the banks are investing in crypto custody, a third-party that provides storage and security services for digital currencies. The report asserts that “23 of the top 100 banks by assets under management are building custody solutions, or investing in the companies that provide them.”

The report says the recent exceptional growth in the digital assets space, along with an insatiable demand from customers has pushed banks into reconsidering their approach toward the cryptocurrency market.

Prior to this, Henri Arslanian, crypto lead at PwC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that venture capitalists and pension funds are also surprisingly  interested in investing in crypto firms. Arslanian even said smaller VCs are not happy as larger players are constantly grasping deals by offering large amounts of money.

“Let’s say they’re looking at a deal and they believe it’s worth $10 million, and you’re seeing large VCs come in and put a bid in for a higher valuation. This is happening a lot with very early-stage companies, say, $5 million to $20 million — the prices are being inflated,” Arslanian said.