US Bank launches bitcoin custody service as institutions race to cater to crypto demand – CNBC

US Bank launches bitcoin custody service as institutions race to cater to crypto demand – CNBC

People wait in line outside of a mobile US Bank location on July 8, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Stephen Maturen | Getty Images

The race to cater to institutional investors who want to wager on cryptocurrency is heating up.

U.S. Bank, the fifth-biggest retail bank in the nation, announced Tuesday that its cryptocurrency custody service is available to fund managers, CNBC was first to report.

The offering will help investment managers store private keys for bitcoin, bitcoin cash and litecoin with assistance from sub-custodian NYDIG, according to Gunjan Kedia, vice chair of the bank’s wealth management and investment services division. Support for other coins like ethereum is expected over time, Kedia said.

The move is the latest sign that established financial players are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class. In the realm of custody banks, which verify and safeguard trillions of dollars of traditional assets for money managers, major players including Bank of New York Mellon, State Street and Northern Trust have all announced plans to custody digital assets.

“Our clients are getting very serious about the potential of cryptocurrency as a diversified asset class,” Kedia said in an interview. “I don’t believe there’s a single asset manager that isn’t thinking about it right now.”

Gunjan Kedia, vice chair of the bank’s wealth management and investment services division.

Courtesy: US Bank