Financial Institutions Move Forward with Adoption Amidst Crypto Uncertainty
But this turmoil is not stopping several major financial institutions from moving forward with their crypto plans. Here are four major players in the banking and investment space making big plans for crypto and the metaverse:
- JP Morgan working on a Web3 Digital Identity and Wallet Solution
- Brazil's biggest bank Itau Unibanco to start offering crypto custody
- Fidelity opens waitlist for retail crypto product
- Blackrock working on a new metaverse ETF
Banking giant JP Morgan has several Web3 initiatives underway, including a Web3 digital identity solution and most recently a crypto wallet solution.
The digital identity solution is likely to reside on the bank's homegrown blockchain Onyx, and it would serve as somewhat of a "single sign-on" for the metaverse, Web3, and DeFi.
“Imaging using only your credit score to take advantage of buy now pay later options," the bank shared in its explainer video. "Prove ownership of your NFTs across platforms, and create content with freedom."
And then, just yesterday JP Morgan was finally approved for a trademark for a digital wallet and related cryptocurrency processing services. The bank applied for the trademark for its "JP Morgan Wallet" back in July 2020.
The largest Brazilian bank has decided it wants to be in the crypto business, announcing on Nov. 17 that it plans to launch crypto custody services in 2023 via its Itau Digital Assets division.
"Custody is a fundamental element in this context, because, especially in a new market like crypto assets, it brings security to investors," said Unibanco product manager Eric Alftafim. "We will safeguard customer assets in a reliable environment."
The new crypto solution is expected to launch in Q2 2023 and rolled out in two phases, the first for customers of the bank and then rolled out to third parties.
The giant financial institution Fidelity has opened its waiting list for its Fidelity Crypto product, which will offer commission-free bitcoin and ether trading for its retail customer base.
Their move to the retail customer base comes after starting with their institutional customers, where they offer a bitcoin ETF (in Canada) and several related ETFs in the U.S.
Fidelity was reportedly on the fence about offering the product to retail but now appears to have made the decision to move forward.
BlackRock has been making big moves in crypto recently. They have partnered with Coinbase allowing its Aladdin users to access crypto trading and custody, after launching several blockchain-focused investment products this year and a spot bitcoin private trust product.
More recently (September), BlackRock is working on a new metaverse ETF called "iShares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF," as reported by Bloomberg. The fund will aim to track companies with exposure to the metaverse.