Bank of America Permits Selected Clients to Trade BTC Futures

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In Brief
  • Bank of America (BoA)'s decision reportedly made due to larger margin involved in futures trading.

  • Decision shortly follows formation of a special BoA cryptocurrency research team.

  • BoA follows suit with the likes of Goldman Sachs in offering BTC futures trading.

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The Bank of America (BoA), the United States’ second-largest bank, has given a green light on trading bitcoin (BTC) futures for some of its clients. A step in the crypto’s favor, given the bank’s otherwise conservative attitudes towards the space.

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According to reports, the institution made its decision on account of the larger margin involved in trading futures. A margin that could potentially make such trading very lucrative for the bank as a business opportunity. 

BoA has reportedly only given access to BTC futures to select clients. Reports also indicate that a few accounts, set up to access the crypto market, may already have gone live.

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The development comes shortly off the back of the revelation that BoA had formed a new team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies. Reports revealed that the former head of the BoA’s global technology specialist team, Alkesh Shah, would head the team. 

Formation of the team came around the same time as a memo from BoA’s head of global research, Candace Browning.

“Cryptocurrencies and digital assets constitute one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems,” Ms Browning’s memo read. “We are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform, and our blockchain expertise.”

While conducting their research, the team will report to BoA’s head of fixed-income, global currencies, and commodities research, Michael Maras.

Other institutions allow BTC futures trading

In allowing access to BTC futures (or trying to), BoA follows suit with a number of its fellow institutions. A number that has increased over the course of 2021.

Most recently, VanEck submitted a prospectus for a new BTC futures strategy to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). One of the latest in a string of applications to the regulator. VanEck is one of the crypto space’s oldest exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers. However, despite this, the SEC has delayed its decisions whether to approve VanEck’s applications for both BTC and Ether (ETH) ETFs. They set the latest deadline for this month.

Fellow ETF provider Teucrium made a similar filing back in May.

Other institutions have been more successful in trading BTC futures. Goldman Sachs, for one. The multinational investment bank began trading BTC futures back in June, in partnership with Galaxy Digital. They also revealed that they planned to offer ETH futures and options around the same time.

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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